The Rheumatology Research Foundation is dedicated to advancing rheumatology and improving patient outcomes. The organization is working toward its goals by funding essential research and training through its awards and grants program. Some of the Foundation’s biggest supporters say they donate to the Foundation because they believe the organization is making a positive impact on the field. Their generous gifts allow the Foundation to provide much-needed support to the latest round of promising award recipients.
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Explore This IssueSeptember 2014
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Since it was established in 1985, the Foundation has committed more than $116 million to fund more than 2,300 awards. Many of those awards provide students and residents hoping to narrow down their career paths the opportunity to explore rheumatology and different aspects of the field. Others provide funds to young investigators with novel research ideas trying to get both their careers and their projects off the ground. The Foundation also offers generous grants to established rheumatology professionals who are exploring innovative studies that will lead to important breakthroughs and advancements in patient care.
The Foundation’s support for its award recipients provides a good avenue for companies involved with the Corporate Roundtable (CRT) to help advance the field. The CRT is a dynamic partnership that brings together the Foundation and industry leaders and serves as a forum for dialogue. CRT partners are some of the Foundation’s biggest supporters because they trust that the Foundation will effectively and efficiently steward donations from the CRT into awards and grants that will build interest in the field and fund novel research.
AbbVie, Amgen Inc. and Pfizer have shown the most significant support as Leadership level partners of the CRT. AbbVie has worked with the Foundation for several years, and representatives say they continue to do so because they believe the Foundation invests gifts in programs that make a positive impact on rheumatology.
“AbbVie’s continued support of the Rheumatology Research Foundation represents our shared goal to make a remarkable impact on the lives of patients with rheumatic diseases,” says Jim Salanty, vice president, U.S. Rheumatology, AbbVie. “The ongoing efforts of the Foundation to advance education, training and research within the rheumatology community are essential to improving patient outcomes.”
Representatives from Amgen, the first Leadership level partner, say they also strongly support the Foundation because it is leading the field in a positive direction.
“The awards and grants provided through the Foundation are not only critical to early stage research, but also provide support to some of the most promising minds in the field,” says Brian Kotzin, MD, vice president of Global Inflammation Development at Amgen. “Amgen is proud to support these ongoing innovative explorations in rheumatic diseases, including the fellowship program to ensure well-trained researchers are working to advance rheumatology care for the benefit of patients worldwide.”
Pfizer is the most recent addition to the Leadership level. Representatives with the company say the Foundation has demonstrated its commitment to ensuring that funds are invested in quality training and research projects.
“Pfizer is honored to be involved in the Rheumatology Research Foundation, which is providing opportunities and access to important resources for future leaders in rheumatology,” says Andrew Koenig, DO, FACR, Inflammation and Immunology group leader, North America Medical Affairs, Pfizer Inc. “We are pleased to have the opportunity to engage at the Leadership level and join others in our industry in the Corporate Roundtable in order to make a significant impact on the future of innovation in rheumatoid arthritis and similar autoinflammatory diseases.”
Because of generous gifts from CRT partners, as well as members of the rheumatology community, and patients and their loved ones, the Foundation will continue to provide essential support for the brightest minds in the field. In fiscal year 2015 (July 1, 2014–June 30, 2015), the Foundation will be providing awards and grants to 110 students, residents, fellows, researchers and others, representing a commitment of more than $13 million in funding support. Nearly $6 million will be invested in educating, training and developing the careers of rheumatology professionals. The remainder will fund essential research into rheumatoid arthritis and similar autoinflammatory diseases.