Arthritis Research Scientists 2020-2021

Funding The Best and Brightest Arthritis Research Scientists

1 in 4 Americans are afflicted with arthritis. Arthritis research is the key to finding new and better treatments for this disease affecting over 54 million Americans, including 300,000 children. 12 of the best and brightest scientists across the U.S. were awarded arthritis research grants this year.


Our world-renowned Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) of physician-scientists only chooses the best and brightest emerging arthritis research scientists each and every year. We invite you to read about the scientists and their exciting projects below.


Your support of arthritis research is critical to launching the independent research careers of these scientists. Ensuring that they stay in research and spend their lifetime dedicated to finding a cure. 95% of the scientists funded by the Arthritis National Research Foundation have remained in research working towards a cure. These individuals work in top laboratories and ANRF funding enables them to make discoveries more quickly than without the extra support. The time is now to find a cure and help those suffering with arthritis.


Please click here to make a donation to support more of this critical arthritis research.


Years listed: 2013-14 | 2014-15 | 2015-16 | 2016-17 | 2017-182018-19 | 2019-20 | 2020-21

Sarah Baxter, M.D., Ph.D.
Senior Fellow, University of Washington

Autoimmune Disease Project
Characterize the role of AIM2 in the autoimmune disease Systemic Lupus

Charles Chan, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Stanford University

Osteoarthritis Project
Investigating the role of resident stem cell populations in the regeneration of cartilage and in OA progression

Lauren Henderson, M.D.,
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Boston Children’s Hospital

Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis Project
Identifying why some children outgrow JIA whereas others develop chronic disease.

Christian Jacome-Galarza, Ph.D.,
Instructor of Orthopaedic Surgery, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School

Osteoclasts Project
Investigate how such OCs form and how they lead to joint tissue destruction in arthritis.

Michael Jurynec, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, University of Utah

Osteoarthritis Project
Hypothesizes that mutations in specific genes as found in OA susceptible families may underlie the enhanced joint inflammation that is a hallmark of OA progression.

Susan MacLauchlan, Ph.D.
Associate Scientist, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School

Rheumatoid Arthritis Project
Evaluating the impact of mutations in the gene TET2 in RA since her previous work demonstrated that such mutations result in accelerated CVD development.

Renuka Nayak, M.D., Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, University of California, San Francisco

Rheumatoid Arthritis Project
Characterize the microbiomes and Methotrexate (MTX) metabolites of a number of RA patients to more fully understand how specific bacterial genes may influence the activity of MTX in RA patients.

Tam Quach, Ph.D.
Instructor, The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research

Autoimmune Project
Investigating how TNF affects the generation of autoreactive B cells.

Brian Skaug, M.D., Ph.D.
Instructor, Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston

Scleroderma Project
Understand how this specific DNASE1L3 polymorphism leads to the development of scleroderma

Jolien Suurmond, Ph.D.
Instructor, The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research

Lupus Project
The genetics of antinuclear antibodies and the risk of lupus

Hu Zeng, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, The Mayo Clinic

Rheumatoid Arthritis Project
Analyze ICI patient samples to determine the mechanisms that lead to the development of this form of arthritis following ICI therapy.

Cheng-Hai Zhang, Ph.D.
Instructor, Harvard Medical School

Osteoarthritis Project
Investigating the role of gene Creb5 in lubricin expression during the development of osteoarthritis