The Arthritis National Research Foundation’s Scientific Advisory Board convened March 24, 2011, to determine the next group of cutting-edge researchers in arthritis and autoimmune research, announced an ANRF press release. The Scientific Advisory Board, chaired by Dr. Carl F. Ware of the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute in La Jolla, CA, plays a critical role in the progress of arthritis research.
“The young post-doctoral candidates that we fund represent the future leaders in arthritis and autoimmune disease research,” said Dr. Ware. “Their new, outside-the-box ideas are key to moving this research forward and finding new answers.” To find new answers one must ask new questions. New questions and new approaches to research drive the Arthritis National Research Foundation.
“We are serious about finding a cure for osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and lupus,” said Dr. Mary K. Crow, past president of the American College of Rheumatology and Physician-in-Chief and Director of Rheumatology Research at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York. “Asking the same questions and supporting the same research methods is not going to produce different results. Every year we are excited to evaluate new ideas and different approaches to research.”
The star of the event was Dr. Gale Granger, ANRF board member and director emeritus on the Scientific Advisory Board. Dr. Granger’s research was funded 30 years ago by the Arthritis National Research Foundation when no one else would take a chance on his “outside the box” idea. His work resulted in the discovery of TNF or tumor necrosis factor, the molecule responsible for initiating the inflammatory process in individuals with rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis.
The biologic anti-TNF drugs currently in use by millions would have never existed had the Arthritis National Research Foundation not taken a chance on Dr. Granger. The success of researchers like Dr. Granger drives the Arthritis National Research Foundation to find young researchers with fresh ideas to move forward the field of arthritis and autoimmune research.
Since 1970, the Arthritis National Research Foundation has provided grants to promising young investigators with innovative research projects. Arthritis is the leading cause of disability, affecting 50 million American adults and 300,000 children. ANRF-funded scientists are studying osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and other autoimmune diseases. Since 2000, ANRF has funded over $7.2 million in research grants.
It’s exciting to know that “out-of-the-box” research is encouraged by such influential organizations as the ANRF. It was exactly that type of research that allowed me to invent the ergonomic UGLee Pen, which is helping so many people write without pain or discomfort.