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Vol. 4 / Issue 4

An Online Publication of the Arthritis National Research Foundation

Special Research Edition

Emily Boyd Stormoen
Chief Executive Officer

I am delighted to introduce you to our 2021-2022 grant recipients. This year’s cohort represents a wide array of early career scientists who are leading the field in innovation around arthritis and autoimmune disease. We are fortunate to have a Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) comprised of world-renowned physician- and Ph.D.-scientists who serve as our volunteer review board. Each year, these leaders of our industry sit down together to comb through each and every grant application. It requires hours and hours of careful study and intense discussion but each year it produces an incredible selection of top researchers that we are proud to call ANRF scholars. Thanks to the generosity of our partners and supporters we were able to award 18 grants. Read on to see what this round of researchers will be addressing in the fight against arthritis and autoimmunity.

This is the most common form of arthritis, affecting over 32 million Americans. These ANRF researchers are working to understand more about what makes people susceptible to the disease, exploring ways to protect joints from age and damage, and whether cell engineering may be the future in reversing cartilage damage.

Rheumatoid arthritis is known by sufferers to cause flares of intense inflammation and pain, mobility problems, and disfigurement. Four ANRF researchers are taking on the fight against RA from different directions hoping to improve treatments, determine effectiveness of medications in individuals, and address a scary correlation between RA and heart disease.

How do you tell a kid in pain that there is nothing you can do for them? Two ANRF researchers want to ensure that no one has to do that with JIA patients and are searching for more effective ways to control and combat painful inflammation.

This refers to a group of conditions characterized by inflammation in the spine. The most common form, ankylosing spondylitis (AS), affects an estimated 1 million Americans. AS can cause serious mobility problems and permanent damage to the spine. ANRF researchers will investigate a potential new treatment for spinal inflammation and solve mysteries by exploring cells found in the eye.

With no known cure, lupus is a life-threatening disease that can cause organ damage, stroke, and other serious events. Even in less severe cases, symptoms like chronic fatigue can greatly impact one’s daily life. Two ANRF scholars will be seeking new diagnostic and treatment options for patients who suffer from this devastating disease.


Autoimmune conditions vary in many ways, but they share a critical similarity. All autoimmune patients have an immune system that attacks the very body it is meant to protect. These researchers are studying different conditions with the same question: how can we protect against inappropriate immune responses?




MMRF Accreditations

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