ACR’s Research Education Foundation Investigators’ Meeting

REF RA researchers focus on progress

ACR REF meeting in MiamiThe American College of Rheumatology’s Research Education Foundation has gathered over 50 researchers from across the U.S. to present their data from the Within Our Reach RA studies. They’ll be brainstorming ways to collaborate in finding a cure for RA.

The meeting will feature a wide range of RA research topics that are funded by the REF’s Within Our Reach program. The investigators will represent a variety of scientific disciplines, including biochemistry, cardiovascular disease, molecular biology and genetics.

I felt pretty sure I wasn’t going to make it, so I haven’t brought this up yet on the blog! Katie Beth and I drove down to Miami tonight to attend this meeting. We’ll be here through the weekend mostly listening and typing.

We hope to learn about current RA research and speak with some of the investigators about their research and the collaborations they are forming.

REF reaches landmarks in RA research

Last month, the ACR’s REF announced that the Within Our Reach: Finding a Cure for Rheumatoid Arthritis campaign surpassed its initial $30 million goal.

The Within Our Reach campaign has accelerated the pace of discovery and catalyzed promising new lines of scientific investigation. Most importantly, these achievements provide hope and inspiration to the millions of patients with RA who need our support and care. They recently told subscribers:

Through the campaign, 58 peer-reviewed grants totaling $24.4 million have been awarded to scientific investigators across the country. Grants awarded through Within Our Reach will extend into 2012, with an additional $6 million of support in the form of novel clinical trials to be funded next fall.

Within Our Reach has brought new investigators – from both inside and outside rheumatology – into this area of research, which was a goal of the program from the outset that expands the critical mass of scientists focused on advancing knowledge in RA. New collaborations have been formed among this new network of investigators that have resulted in new research endeavors. Some of the exciting research progress includes:

  • Learning more about the cause of RA
  • Finding new ways to inhibit inflammation
  • Controlling and even blocking bone erosions

Read more details in the ACR Research Education Foundation press release at this link.

NOTE: Click here to read my report from after the meeting.

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Kelly Young

Kelly Young is an advocate providing ways for patients to be better informed and have a greater voice in their healthcare. She is the president of the Rheumatoid Patient Foundation. Kelly received national acknowledgement with the 2011 WebMD Health Hero award. Through her writing, speaking, and use of social media, she is building a more accurate awareness of Rheumatoid disease aka Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) geared toward the public and medical community; creating ways to empower patients to advocate for improved diagnosis and treatment; and bringing recognition and visibility to the Rheumatoid patient journey. In 2009, Kelly created Rheumatoid Arthritis Warrior, a comprehensive website about RA of about 950 pages and writes periodically for other newsletters and websites. Kelly served on the Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media Advisory Board. There are over 42,000 connections of her highly interactive Facebook Fan page. She created the hashtag: #rheum. Kelly is the mother of five, a home-schooler, Bible teacher, NASA enthusiast, and NFL fan. You can also connect with Kelly by on Twitter or YouTube, or LinkedIn. She has lived over nine years with unrelenting Rheumatoid disease. See also

4 thoughts on “ACR’s Research Education Foundation Investigators’ Meeting

  • June 10, 2011 at 7:38 am

    Hope..we all need hope with ra. This brings hope to us all. Thanks for all the hard work you do and let’s hope you find a great doctor that will help you to keep helping us by effectively working with you! Keep your eyes open at this meeting for not only new information but possible a good source to a great doc for you 🙂

  • June 10, 2011 at 8:00 am

    This is exiciting news, so glad you were able to make it to the conference! Can’t wait to hear what you learn!

  • June 10, 2011 at 9:49 am

    Finding the cause is usually the path to the cure. I hope they put a lot of resourses into this area.

    • June 10, 2011 at 9:52 am

      I agree & they do Jody. Over half research is focused on pathogenesis alone – the causes of RA – key to the puzzle. Their other research also relates to causes in other ways.


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