Acclaimed Scientist To Lead Arthritis National Research Foundation (ANRF)

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Building on CureArthritis.org tradition of excellence, the Arthritis National Research Foundation is announcing Zaher Nahle, PhD, MPA as its new Executive Director.

Today the Arthritis National Research Foundation (ANRF, CureArthritis.org) announced the appointment of Zaher Nahle, PhD, MPA, as its new Executive Director (ED). This is the outcome of a rigorous, nation-wide search examining many extraordinary candidates.

A statement from the search committee of the board revealed that, “The committee was determined to find a uniquely qualified individual who is simultaneously an inspirational leader, a proven executive, and a compassionate soul. We found all that and more in Dr. Nahle - We cannot be more thrilled to welcome him to our fold to lead the new era of growth and development. ANRF is poised to play an even more dynamic role in the disease space and this development is a tremendous step forward.”

Dr. Nahle is an award-winning scientist with interdisciplinary training in biomedical research and public administration. He has a history of securing prestigious funding in healthcare and patient-oriented research and has generated millions of dollars for scientific endeavors. He holds a PhD in Physiology and Biophysics from Stony Brook University/Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (New York) and an MPA from Harvard University, where he also completed a fellowship in public policy and management at the John F. Kennedy School of Government.

Prior to joining ANRF, Dr. Nahle was the Chief Scientific Officer and Vice President for Research at Solve ME/CFS Initiative (SMCI), a Los Angeles-based nonprofit organization dedicated to Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, also known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, a complex and debilitating disease related to the research portfolio of ANRF. In this capacity, he oversaw a comprehensive investment program with medical centers and industry partners to increase biomedical research into this disease. He also directed a robust scientific portfolio including peer-review grant programs in basic, translational and epidemiology research, as well as specialized biobanking services and Electronic Health Record platforms. Dr. Nahle also developed numerous medical education, research communication and community engagement initiatives.

Dr. Nahle is a frequent speaker at international conferences and serves on specialized committees and panels at federal agencies, including the NIH and the CDC. Earlier in his career, he was on the faculty of leading universities, such as Weill Cornell Medicine and Vanderbilt University. While at Harvard, he co-founded a nonprofit organization focused on the disability agenda in Africa. Dr. Nahle’s research work is featured and published in prestigious journals like Science and Nature. He received numerous awards including ones from the American Heart Association (AHA), the Department of Defense (DoD), the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF)/Genetic Alliance (GA), and was an Edward Mason fellow at Harvard University.

Gale A. Granger, PhD, a longtime ANRF board member and a professor Emeritus at UC Irvine, whose groundbreaking work shaped modern approaches to therapeutic modalities in Arthritis and cancer research believes that, “Dr. Nahle’s recruitment will help propel the Foundation to new heights and make ANRF the key driver of scientific innovation in Arthritis and associated diseases.” Hon. Sally Anne Sheridan, who is on the ANRF board and served as the Mayor of the City of Irvine agrees: “We were very impressed with Dr. Nahle’s vison and background and have great confidence in his ability to lead CureArthritis.org at this critical point in its growth.”

“I am very humbled to be the one entrusted by this truly formidable board of directors, working alongside an all-star scientific board, a dedicated group of colleagues, and our wonderful volunteers,” Dr. Nahle said. “This is an incredible opportunity to serve patients through finding solutions for a complex, multifactorial disease. I live with arthritis myself, so I know the challenges firsthand. For the longest time, I have been impressed by the pioneering work that ANRF has created in accelerating the discovery process and challenging the status quo – ANRF supports the most promising ideas from the brightest MD and PhD investigators at the most formative stages in their careers. Going forward, we remain laser-focused on that mission and I firmly believe that our contributions will continue to be exciting and transformative.”

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Since 1970, the Arthritis National Research Foundation, a tax deductible charity based in Long Beach, CA, has supported outstanding young scientists who have become innovators and leaders in the field of rheumatic disease research, autoimmunity, inflammation and molecular genetics. From the discovery of Tumor Necrosis Factor (the molecule that initiates inflammation in arthritis) to genes involved in lupus, their research accomplishments have made a long-lasting impact. Support arthritis research with an online donation at CureArthritis.org.

For all media inquiries please contact Derek Belisle at derek(at)curearthritis.org Dr. Nahle can be reached directly at znahle(at)curearthritis.org.

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Derek Belisle
@CureArthritis
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