Rethink Rheumatoid Arthritis Research

Are there genetic indicators that can help rheumatologists identify the people who are at risk for developing the disease? Are there environmental factors that trigger rheumatoid arthritis (RA)? Simply put, what causes RA and how do we treat and cure it?

These are the questions the researchers funded by the Within Our Reach: Finding a Cure for Rheumatoid Arthritis campaign are trying to answer.

“We have moved well beyond symptom management and now have treatments capable of modifying disease progression in RA,” says Leslie J. Crofford, MD, president of the ACR Research and Education Foundation (REF). “We remain, however, far from the elusive goals of prevention and cure. The Within Our Reach grants capitalize on advances in basic, clinical, and translational research that will bring us closer to these goals. Our investment in the best science and scientists will help to create and sustain RA-focused research units across the country—with the expertise and resources to substantively move the field toward finding a cure.”

With that in mind, the REF has announced the second round of grant recipients of the Within Our Reach campaign. The following research grants were awarded to 16 researchers:

  • Innovative Basic Research Grants allow investigators to conduct exploratory research on new issues or approaches for which there is currently an insufficient theoretical or empirical basis for a competitive research project application;
  • Translational Research Grants support established independent physician-scientists who are dedicated to translational research, the two-way transfer between work at the laboratory bench and patient care; and
  • Clinical Practice Grants which focus on issues that directly affect the quality of care in clinical practice of rheumatology and patient access.

The REF will spend $6.5 million in July to accelerate innovative research through the Within Our Reach campaign. View a complete list of first- and second-round grant recipients online at

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