President’s Message

Your help may lead to the next breakthrough

Kevin Donohue

It is my pleasure to welcome you to the Arthritis National Research Foundation’s website and to help you learn more about the critical research we are committed to funding.

An estimated 50 million Americans – that is one in five — suffer from some form of arthritis. If you don’t have arthritis, you know someone who does. The best hope for better treatments and a cure is medical research. Major sources of research dollars, like the National Institutes of Health, support mostly well-established researchers.

Our focus is different. The Arthritis National Research Foundation (ANRF) wants to provide the breeding ground for young genius. We watch for the innovative theories of young researchers – the ones who haven’t yet had the opportunity to explore their ideas. Cutting-edge research conducted by brilliant young scientists with an idea “outside the box” – this is the research funded by the Arthritis National Research Foundation. At first it may seem counter intuitive to fund young, unseasoned scientists, but remember that Sir Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein made their world-changing discoveries as young scientists.

This year, ANRF has funded 13 researchers across the U.S., with a maximum grant award of $75,000. They are conducting research on osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and related autoimmune diseases at non-profit universities and research institutions nationwide. They are studying the mechanisms of these diseases, as well as ways to translate the science into new treatments. Their work may provide the next scientific breakthrough that will help those in pain every day.

The ANRF Scientific Advisory Board welcomed some new members during the last two years: world-renowned physician-scientist Mary K. Crow, M.D., director of Rheumatology Research at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City. Dr. Crow is a past president of the American College of Rheumatology (2005-2006) and ANRF is delighted she has committed her expertise to this distinguished Scientific Advisory Board. We are also delighted to welcome Martin Lotz, M.D. of The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California, where he is the head of the Department of Molecular and Experimental Medicine.

Individual donors remain our most ardent supporters. The continued support of over 500 committed individuals each year who give through the Combined Federal Campaign, state campaigns or corporate giving programs is integral to moving this science closer to new treatments and a cure.

The Arthritis National Research Foundation receives donations from estates, corporations and foundations. The Sontag Foundation (a private family foundation) has partnered with ANRF for 11 years to completely underwrite a grant, “The Sontag Foundation Fellow.” This family has significantly impacted the field of rheumatoid arthritis research with their commitment. Then in September this year, Rick and Susan Sontag took their commitment to the highest level, donating $1 million to the ANRF endowment! There will be a Sontag Foundation Fellow in perpetuity or until RA is cured. Our heartfelt thanks to such an incredibly generous and committed family.

Each gift we receive brings us one step closer to our goal of curing these diseases. We honor your trust and pledge to wisely invest your gift in the best scientific hope for the future.

Kevin Donohue, CFP ©

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