Arthritis Research Leads to Arthritis Cures

Funding Arthritis Research to Cure Arthritis

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 (ANRF) 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.

ANRF 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 200 scientists funded over 40 years
  • • Our arthritis research projects have led to new information and treatments
  • • 10-20 grants per year – $1.2 million research awards in 2015-16
  • • World-renowned Scientific Advisory Board of physician-scientists
  • • 4-Star Charity Navigator Rating 7 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.

ANRF History: Getting us closer to a cure!


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.


1970-75: Community Board of Directors established to guide ANRF and receives 501(c)(3) status

During this time, the community board of directors guided ANRF to its current focus of funding young MD and/or PhD investigators transitioning to independence. Initially, ANRF 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.


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 ANRF 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 ANRF would fund research.



1996-99: Begin to fund research grants outside California and Scientific Advisory Board established

In 1996, the ANRF 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 ANRF 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 ANRF a high level of credibility; many original members still serve on this board, an indication of their commitment to ANRF’s mission.


2000-2008: Expansion of arthritis research funding

During this period, ANRF 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. were funded during this period. Under a new policy established in 2003, grantees were able to apply for a second year of funding.


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.


2013: Independent Scientific Review Panel finds ANRF “Outstanding in Research”

An independent panel of world-renowned arthritis researchers conducted a study of ANRF’s methods and results, pronouncing it “outstanding” and its overall performance the highest possible rating of 5 diamonds. Click here to see the review.


2015: Advancing arthritis research into the future

In response to rising costs in the field of biomedical research and suggestion from the independent review report, ANRF increased its annual arthritis research grant awards to $100,000.

To continue expanding the influence and effectiveness of research funding, ANRF 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, ANRF 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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