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Vol. 3 / Issue 6

[Arthritis, Rheumatology, and Autoimmune Diseases]
An Online Publication of the Arthritis National Research Foundation

June 2020
MMRF Accreditations

Zaher Nahle PhD, MPA   

Chief Executive Officer 
Arthritis National Research Foundation


Scleroderma Awareness Month!

Dear Partner,

In this issue, we profile the exciting work of two ANRF scholars who are pushing the boundaries in the fields of Scleroderma and Autoimmune Diseases, Drs. Brian Skaug and Vivian Kawai, respectively. You will enjoy reading their stories and learning more about their promising work funded by the Foundation. We are highlighting the topic of Scleroderma this month to underscore these serious and painful groups of illnesses, especially since June is Scleroderma Awareness Month. Also in this edition, a brief feature on the genetics of COVID-19, and the third expanded installment of our pain management series. That is in addition to other Foundation news related to our recent move, and platforms like the Racing for A Cure where you can participate remotely and anytime to support ANRF. Finally, as we continue to honor and celebrate the work of our healthcare professionals and frontline workers fighting this Pandemic, we wish you all health, safety and peace of mind. 


Exploring Genetics in COVID-19

They are questions that have baffled medical professionals for months. Why do some people with few risk factors suddenly develop severe, life-threatening symptoms of COVID-19? Why do others evade any symptoms at all? The answers may lie in genetics and collaborative data is helping researchers work to find them at lightning speed.

Dr. Vivian Kawai – Big Data. Big Answers.

Why do autoimmune conditions often affect patients differently? Why does a treatment work for one person and do nothing for another? Through her genetics-based research, Dr. Kawai is working to answer these questions and develop ways to identify the most effective treatments for individuals.


Arthritis Archives – The History of Scleroderma

Centuries ago, doctors recorded incidences of patients with "wooden skin." As medicine has advanced, researchers have come to understand the multi-systemic implications of the disease their historical cohorts were referencing. In this article, we review the history of Scleroderma and how improved characterization of the disease has led to treatments which have vastly improved the quality of life for Scleroderma patients and brought researchers closer to a cure.

A Spotlight on Chronic Pain Management: Part 3

Controlling chronic pain often means attacking it from multiple angles. In the final installment of our pain management series, we review invasive pain management options. These are often considered a last resort and used only when other means of pain control have not been effective. When considering surgical approaches to alleviating pain, patients should have an understanding of what to expect during recovery and what risks may be involved.

The Race for a Cure is On!

From sports events to the arts - why not do the activities you love under the Racing For A Cure banner? This campaign allows participants to raise both funds and awareness for a meaningful cause. Individuals and teams can support patients with arthritis and further the fight to find effective treatments and a long-term cure. With Racing for a Cure, it is easy to make a big difference!


Dr. Skaug – Connecting the Dots of Scleroderma Research

Most patients with Scleroderma do not have a relative with the condition nor do their children get the condition. Therefore, it is unlikely that the disease has a definitive genetic cause. However, research has indicated that there are genetic factors that increase an individual’s susceptibility to developing the condition. Dr. Skaug investigates one such rogue gene and its contribution to an incorrectly functioning immune system leading to Scleroderma.

ANRF has Moved!

This winter, ANRF migrated a little farther south. We left our Long Beach offices in December and have settled into a new space in Irvine, California. Our location has changed, but our commitment to funding innovative research is as strong as ever.

19200 Von Karmen Ave., Suite 350, Irvine, CA 92612






MMRF Accreditations

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