Arthritis Research Leads to Arthritis Cures

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Mission: The Arthritis National Research Foundation’s mission is to provide initial research funding to brilliant, investigative scientists with new ideas to cure arthritis and related autoimmune diseases.

For more than 40 years, the Arthritis National Research Foundation has funded arthritis research to understand the causes, preventions and development of new treatments for osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, juvenile arthritis and other autoimmune diseases.

The Arthritis National Research Foundation provides arthritis research grants to scientists at major universities and research institutes across America. One- and two-year arthritis research grants allow these newer scientists to develop their important research to a stage where it can be continued and further supported by other national agencies.

Quick facts about the Arthritis National Research Foundation:
  • • Over 225 scientists funded over 40 years
  • • Our arthritis research projects have led to new information and treatments
  • • 10-20 grants per year – $1.3 million research awards in 2016-17
  • • World-renowned Scientific Advisory Board of physician-scientists
  • • 4-Star Charity Navigator Rating 8 years in a row
  • • “Outstanding” as ranked by independent scientific panel
  • • 91 cents of every dollar donated is placed into research programs

Your tax-deductible donations provide the grants that help these innovators impact arthritis research leading to the development of new treatments and the eventual end to these debilitating diseases. Call us today, toll-free, at (800) 588-2873, or learn more about the many ways you can get involved and donate to help us fund the arthritis research behind cutting-edge treatments and an eventual arthritis cure.

Arthritis National Research Foundation History: Getting us closer to a cure!

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1952: Incorporated as CA nonprofit to fund arthritis research
The organization was initiated by a group of doctors to fund research in arthritis worldwide. The initial funding was small, but was used to fund individual scientists studying arthritis.
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1970-75: Community Board of Directors established to guide the foundation and receives 501(c)(3) status
During this time, the community board of directors guided the Arthritis National Research Foundation to its current focus of funding young MD and/or PhD investigators transitioning to independence. Initially, the foundation funded a grant for Long Beach (CA) Memorial Medical Center to establish an Arthritis Center and purchase an electron microscope.

Research grants were made annually to scientists at institutions in California only; applications were reviewed by independent scientist-experts.

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1977-82: Granger lab funded at UC Irvine led to discovery of TNF
This is a groundbreaking discovery in the world of autoimmune research and the history of the Arthritis National Research Foundation. Dr. Granger’s work would lead to a whole new class of medications, today known as biologics. His work would also transform the way the foundation looked at funding research.

The focus shifted and was now on emerging investigators with cutting-edge ideas. Scientists with ideas “outside-the-box” fitting the same mold as Dr. Granger. Asking new questions to find new answers and different results. This would remain the blueprint for how the foundation would fund research.

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1982-96: Going Regional
From 1982 through 1996, a total of 15 scientists were awarded grants from $30-50,000 at research institutions in California. All have gone on to become giants in the field of medical research, making pivotal discoveries and chairing university research divisions as full professors. One grantee funded at UCLA during this period, Betty Tsao, PhD, was the first to discover the lupus susceptibility gene. Grantee John Vaughan, MD, helped found the Arthritis National Research Foundation’s Scientific Advisory Board and would be its first chairman, in addition to heading the American College of Rheumatology. Two other grantees funded during this period have served on the Scientific Advisory Board and are recognized as experts in their fields of study.
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1996-99: Begin to fund research grants outside California and Scientific Advisory Board established
In 1996, the Arthritis National Research Foundation Board of Directors decided to increase arthritis research funding nationwide and hired an executive director to facilitate the expansion. The maximum grant level was $50,000; two grants were awarded in 1996-97, increasing to four by 1998-99.

With the guidance of former grantee, Gale Granger, PhD, now an Arthritis National Research Foundation board member, a Scientific Advisory Board of world-renowned physician-scientists was established to review applications and guide the grant selection process. This Scientific Advisory Board gave the foundation a high level of credibility; many original members still serve on this board, an indication of their commitment to the Arthritis National Research Foundation’s mission.

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2000-2008: Expansion of arthritis research funding
During this period, the Arthritis National Research Foundation expanded its influence funding an increasing number of grant recipients and, in 2008, raising the annual grant award available to $75,000. A total of 102 grants were awarded to scientists at research facilities across the U.S. during this period. Under a new policy established in 2003, grantees were able to apply for a second year of funding.
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2008-2012: Research Highlights
Shigeru Miyaki, PhD at The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA, discovers natural molecule that regulates the growth of cartilage

Nunzio Bottini, MD at La Jolla Institute for Allergy & Immunology and Massimo Bottini, PhD at Sanford Burnham Medical Research Institute, both in San Diego, CA, use nanotechnology to develop focused targets for arthritis drug delivery

Chuanju Liu, PhD, of New York University, discovers a growth factor in the OA joint that, if blocked, may prevent or ameliorate joint inflammation and damage.

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2013: Independent Scientific Review Panel finds the Arthritis National Research Foundation “Outstanding in Research”
An independent panel of world-renowned arthritis researchers conducted a study of the foundation’s methods and results, pronouncing it “outstanding” and its overall performance the highest possible rating of 5 diamonds. Click here to see the review.
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Present: Advancing arthritis research into the future
In response to rising costs in the field of biomedical research and suggestion from the independent review report, the Arthritis National Research Foundation increased its annual arthritis research grant awards to $100,000.

To continue expanding the influence and effectiveness of research funding, the foundation is collaborating with other medical research nonprofits for specific arthritis research grants.

Through web-based interviews of current and past grant recipients and strategic partnerships, interested individuals learn about the latest research from the scientists doing the work.

More Arthritis Research is Needed
Every year, the Arthritis National Research Foundation has many more high-ranking, deserving cutting-edge research projects than it can fund. We need your help to keep the pipeline of research flowing. Please consider making a donation today to help us cure arthritis!
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