Long Beach, CA (PRWEB) August 30, 2011
The Arthritis National Research Foundation recently awarded $950,000 in arthritis research grants to 13 cutting-edge scientists. With 50 million Americans afflicted with arthritis anxiously waiting for new and more effective treatments, the Arthritis National Research Foundation is funding scientists at universities and research facilities across the country. Their work in osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and other autoimmune forms of arthritis holds the promise for new therapies.
The Arthritis National Research Foundation, based in Long Beach, CA, is the charity that funds research to cure arthritis. The 13 researchers funded this year represent the top 16% of all applicants. They are young, post-doctoral investigators with cutting-edge research ideas. ANRF’s highly competitive, NIH-level review process conducted by its world-renowned Scientific Advisory Board ensures that only the top tier applicants and projects are funded.
Some of the research institutions represented by this year’s grantees include Harvard Medical School, NYU School of Medicine, Rush University Medical Center, University of California, Los Angeles, Davis and San Francisco, Cleveland Clinic, and the University of Wisconsin.
This year’s grant recipients are studying these diseases at the genetic and molecular levels. Work in osteoarthritis, the “wear and tear” of joint tissues and the most prevalent form of arthritis, is focused on re-growing joint cartilage and utilizing genetic therapy. Studies in rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and the other autoimmune forms of arthritis are focused in three phases of autoimmunity to understand, prevent and interrupt the disease process. Understanding the human immune system in arthritis has implications for breakthroughs in other types of autoimmune disorders such as diabetes and MS.
One of this year’s grantees studying the human immune systems is Iannis Adamopoulos, DPhil, of the University of California, Davis, who has been named the 2011 Sontag Foundation Fellow of the Arthritis National Research Foundation, an annual award for innovative and cutting-edge rheumatoid arthritis research. In each of the past 11 years, The Sontag Foundation has utilized ANRF’s expertise to choose and completely fund the grant for a top young researcher studying RA. Of the five RA research projects funded this year, the Sontag Foundation chose Dr. Adamopoulos’ work as the most innovative and promising.
Dr. Adamopoulos has identified a cytokine, interleukin 23 (IL-23), as a key regulator of both joint inflammation and bone destruction in RA. He has found that the abnormal expression of IL-23 causes severe arthritis in mice; in addition, his research team has recent evidence that human cells respond similarly to IL-23 stimulation and inhibition of this molecule may have great therapeutic potential.
“We are delighted to name Dr. Adamopoulos as The Sontag Foundation Fellow for 2011,” says Sontag Foundation president and philanthropist Rick Sontag. “His work may provide the next breakthrough to finally end the debilitating disease that plagued my mother for 37 years and ended her life.
“The Arthritis National Research Foundation is the most efficient steward of charitable dollars invested in arthritis research grants,” continued Sontag, “with 91 cents of every dollar going into research programs. That’s why we are proud to partner with ANRF to fund cutting-edge research.”
Since 1970, the Arthritis National Research Foundation has supported outstanding young scientists who have become innovators and leaders in the field of rheumatic disease research, autoimmunity and inflammation. From the discovery of TNF to linking a specific human chromosome to increased risk of developing lupus, their research accomplishments are long and revealing. Most have their own research labs at major universities. The studies ANRF funds will lead to a better understanding of the genetics, molecular mechanisms and new therapies for these chronic and debilitating diseases. Contact them at derek(at)curearthritis(dot)org or 800-588-2873.