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Arthritis Society invests $2.1 million to further arthritis research in Canada

2017-18 research grants will fund seven new projects

TORONTO – December 14, 2017 – Today the Arthritis Society, Canada’s largest charitable funder of arthritis research, announced that seven world-class researchers will see their work advance, thanks to the commitment of $2.1 million in research funding for cutting-edge research projects over the next three years.

These research awards, part of the Arthritis Society’s annual operating research grant competition, are in addition to a previously announced $500,000 in grants to fund arthritis centres and PhD and post-doctoral fellowships, as well as our ongoing funding for past commitments, to bring our overall research investment this year to over $4 million. Thanks to the generous support of our donors, we are currently supporting over 80 lead researchers in eight provinces, across 30 institutions.

“The calibre of arthritis research being proposed and conducted in Canada is second to none,” said Arthritis Society chief science officer, Dr. Siân Bevan. “Our annual grants make it possible for researchers to conduct valuable discovery across a spectrum of themes, working to help find the causes and cures of arthritis, and to promote the best possible treatments and care for more than six million Canadians living with arthritis today.”

This year we are fortunate to provide funding to seven very talented lead researchers and their teams, including three up-and-coming young investigators. The full list of 2017 grant recipients can be found on arthritis.ca.

“The Arthritis Society is vital for so many of my patients through the various clinical support programs offered, as well as for arthritis scientists and research programs across Canada. Thanks for all you do,” said Dr. Tom Appleton, 2017 strategic operating grant recipient and Assistant Professor, Dept. of Medicine, Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, Western University.

To support more arthritis research, visit arthritis.ca/donate.

 

FEATURED GRANT RECIPIENTS

Strategic operating grant: Osteoarthritis (OA)
Dr. Tom Appleton
Assistant Professor, Dept. of Medicine, Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, Western University

Dr. Appleton’s team will study why white blood cells promote healing in some people and inflammation in others, comparing post-injury osteoarthritis (OA) with the OA typically associated with aging. The research will attempt to determine whether treatments targeting white blood cells can be effective in protecting against OA deterioration, and in which patients.

“The Arthritis Society is vital for so many of my patients through the various clinical support programs offered, as well as for arthritis scientists and research programs across Canada. Thanks for all you do.”

Strategic operating grant: Childhood arthritis
Dr. Alan M. Rosenberg
Professor and Head, Division of Rheumatology
Director, Pediatric Rheumatic Disease Research Laboratory
Department of Pediatrics, University of Saskatchewan

Dr. Rosenberg’s team will study why one in eight of the 24,000 Canadian children who live with arthritis inflammatory arthritis in their joints also experience uveitis – inflammation in their eyes. The connection may help us detect these conditions sooner, develop targeted treatments, and potentially even prevent the development of these diseases.

Young investigator operating grant: Work
Dr. Arif Jetha
Associate Scientist, Institute for Work & Health

Despite advances in clinical care, people living with inflammatory forms of arthritis continue to report trouble finding employment and staying productive at work. Previous research in this area focused primarily on older adults – Dr. Jetha’s project will determine if Millennials with inflammatory arthritis, who are just beginning their careers, have the same needs when it comes to workplace support. This research will help employers, clinicians, and policy makers develop strategies that will assist Millennials with inflammatory arthritis transition into the world of work, and ensure that they remain employed and productive once there.

ABOUT OUR APPROACH TO RESEARCH
The investments we make in scientific research and discovery seek to understand the causes of arthritis, to develop innovative solutions that improve the quality of life for those living with arthritis and most critically, to find a cure. We hold ourselves to a high standard when selecting which research projects have the potential to generate the most impact in solving the unanswered challenges of arthritis. Through the process of an open call grant review, we invite talented scientists to submit their research proposals for consideration by a panel of subject matter experts in discovery research and clinical care, as well as people who have lived experience with arthritis.

ABOUT THE ARTHRITIS SOCIETY
The Arthritis Society is a national health charity, fueled by donors and volunteers, with a vision to live in a world where people are free from the devastating effects that arthritis has on lives. Begun in 1948 with one very clear goal – to alleviate the suffering of people crippled by arthritis – that same volunteer-led passion carries on today in communities across Canada. Through the trust and support of our donors and sponsors, the Arthritis Society is Canada’s largest charitable source of investments in cutting-edge arthritis research, proactive advocacy and innovative solutions that will deliver better health outcomes for people affected by arthritis. For more information and to make a donation, visit arthritis.ca.

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For further information or to arrange an interview, please contact:

Alicia D’Aguiar
Communications specialist
Arthritis Society
416-979-7228 x3354
[email protected]

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