An elderly lady places her hand on her husband's shoulder.


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Volume 7  Issue 7 • July 2018 • Rheumatology Research Foundation


Researchers in a lab in Denver.

Rheumatology Research Foundation Announces Award Recipients

On July 1, 2018, the Rheumatology Research Foundation awarded grants to a wide range of rheumatology trainees and professionals. The recipients received funding for essential education and training, as well as innovative research projects. Their applications were closely examined by experts in different areas of the field to ensure awards went to the most promising studies and programs.

The Foundation committed more than $9.4 million in funding for the fiscal year 2019 (July 1, 2018 – June 30, 2019). About half of those awards will support efforts to recruit and train the next generation of rheumatology professionals, which decreases patient wait times and increases access to rheumatology care. The remaining funds will be awarded to advance research projects that lead to breakthroughs in treating people with rheumatic diseases.

“The Rheumatology Research Foundation is committed to improving care for the more than 54 million Americans affected by arthritis or other forms of rheumatic disease,” said Bryce Binstadt, MD, PhD, chair of the Scientific Advisor Council. “The Foundation’s extensive awards program helps patients by increasing the number of rheumatology health professionals, while also funding research advancements that lead to new treatments and cures.”

While some awards will support the education and training of future rheumatology professionals, others will fund innovative research projects that will lead to breakthroughs in treating people with rheumatic diseases. Recipients of the remaining awards will be announced later this year.


 #RheumLife: Targeted Targetments

Dr. Al Kim teaches a student at Washington University.

Researchers are working to understand what causes autoimmune disorders in order to improve the quality of life for patients. Thanks to recent advances, newer treatments are offering better outcomes for patients. For example, patients with rheumatoid arthritis can be treated with targeted therapies that help them significantly in making their disease go into remission while also maintaining or improving their function substantially. 


Patient Perspective: Elizabeth Edwards

Lexington, Kentucky

Elizabeth Edwards is a busy working wife and mother of two young children. Elizabeth wants others to know that, with appropriate and timely treatment, it’s very possible to obtain and maintain a normal quality of life.

“I am very thankful my treatment plan that keeps my disease controlled so that I can give my children and husband 100 percent. You can have a life with rheumatic disease. My biggest fear when I was diagnosed was how my life was going to change. I wondered if we would be able to have children, would I be able to work, would I have the same quality of life as I did before, and the answer is yes. I have to take care of myself and know when I need to slow down physically and mentally, but thankfully the care I've received from my physicians and the medicines available have allowed me to enjoy each day as I did before.”



Advancing Research: Teresa Tarrant, MD

Duke University Hospital, Raleigh, NC

Dr. Tarrant developed a novel technology that may advance treatment options for patients with RA in the future. The technology delivers RA medication directly to the joint using wavelengths of light to release the medication. By using directed laser light on inflamed joints, this treatment could minimize the risks and side effects of current anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive treatments for RA patients. Ultimately, targeted treatments like Dr. Tarrant’s are leading to safer and more effective treatment options for patients.



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