On July 3, the Rheumatology Research Foundation announced the names of 63 rheumatology trainees, educators, clinicians, investigators and health professionals who will receive Foundation-funded awards. In support of the Foundation’s mission to improve the health of people with rheumatic diseases, the awards help recruit and train the next generation of rheumatology professionals and advance research that leads to new treatments and cures.
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Explore This IssueJuly 2017
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The award recipients, who range from medical students and residents to experienced investigators and rheumatologists, are located in 32 U.S. cities. Their applications were submitted last year and closely examined by experts in different areas of the field through an extensive peer review process.
Of the awardees, 22 will receive funds to conduct research into the cause, progression and treatment of rheumatic diseases. This year, the Foundation’s largest award, the Innovative Research Award, was expanded to include research into all rheumatic diseases. Projects cover a variety of rheumatic diseases, including gout, inflammatory arthritis, juvenile idiopathic arthritis, osteoarthritis, psoriatic arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma, Sjögren’s syndrome, spondyloarthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus and systemic sclerosis.
In addition to funding innovative research, Foundation awards also help address the growing shortage of rheumatology professionals. Twenty-four future rheumatologists will receive fellowship training opportunities funded by the Foundation. An additional 13 students, residents and health professionals will receive Foundation-funded preceptorships, which allow for one-on-one, real-world learning experiences with an established mentor in the field.
Faye Hant, DO, MSCR, is the director of the rheumatology training program at the Medical University of South Carolina, as well as a former mentor for Foundation-funded preceptees. She explains how the program helps encourage more future health professionals to choose a career in rheumatology: “Students have very little exposure to rheumatology in medical school. Preceptorships allow them to actually see what rheumatologists do every day and get a taste for the types of patients we serve. By fostering that interest in rheumatology, we are increasing the workforce.”
The Foundation will fund awards totaling more than $9.97 million in fiscal year 2018 (July 1, 2017–June 30, 2018). Additional awardees and scholarship recipients will be announced later this year.
The Foundation is able to provide this critical funding thanks to generous donations from patients and families, rheumatologists, rheumatology health professionals and corporate supporters. Among the Foundation’s biggest corporate donors are members of the Corporate Roundtable, a dynamic partnership between the Foundation and pharmaceutical industry leaders.
Learn more about other funding opportunities and the exciting work being done by the latest recipients.