The ANRF Chronicle | December 2018 Editorial Letter From Dr. Z

The ANRF Chronicle | December 2018 Editorial Letter From Dr. Z

Zaher Nahle, PhD, MPAChallenging the Status Quo

Dear valued Friend of ANRF,

The challenges presented by Arthritis and associated Autoimmune Diseases are formidable and diverse. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Preventions (CDC), 25.9 % of the adult population in the US (or 78.4 million Americans, Graph) will be diagnosed with Arthritis by 2040. Arthritis is also the top reason for medical discharge from service in the military, and the leading cause of disability among veterans and service members. In 2013 alone, the cost of arthritis-attributable medical expenditures and lost wages among US adults stood at an astonishing $303.5 billion. Clearly, the heavy burden of this disease on our economy, national security and quality of life cannot be overstated.

At ANRF, we are mindful of these realities and cognizant of the size of this foe. Undaunted, we work tirelessly on behalf of millions of patients around the world to improve clinical outcomes through enabling innovation and advancing new discoveries. As one of those patients myself with a painful form of Arthritis, I admit that my commitment to this fight is deeply personal. Everyday, through the work of the Foundation, we seek to reduce knowledge gaps and identify effective therapies by collaborating with hundreds of trusted partners, scientists, supporters, patients and stakeholders – I invite you to join us in our plight that has a clear and defined purpose: Identifying new therapies and developing long-lasting cures.

This year in particular has been extraordinary for ANRF. Progress is palpable on numerous fronts. In the annual report, I summarize our strong financial position (pp 6) and share updates on our scientific progress (pp 7-21). Some key accomplishments are further highlighted below:

  • Bolstering Research Grants: In 2018 we funded our largest cohort of research projects to date, and plan to continue that trend in years to come. This new cohort joins a multitude of 2017-funded projects (detailed in this report) and complements more than 250 completed interdisciplinary studies at 75 prestigious research centers across the United States. These projects are conducted by top young minds at the vanguard of innovation and technological advances.


  • Modernizing Infrastructure & Readiness: We updated our grant making systems, research communication platforms and medical education channels for optimal impact. Through these changes, we will be able to perform our functions more effectively and remain competitive as a leading Medical Foundation. In addition, these changes ensure the highest standards in data security, privacy and encryption.


  • Creating Meaningful Programs: We launched new research and education initiatives, including: i) An e-newsletter, The ANRF Chronicle, to help disseminate the latest credible news in Arthritis, Rheumatology and Autoimmune Diseases as well as Foundation news; ii) A Fact Sheet library as part of a larger plan to facilitate access to information about the disease. Future plans include research webinars, podcasts and other useful learning instruments; and iii) A scientific Symposium to be held in 2019. This conference will bring together annually leaders from across industry, academia, federal agencies, and biotech companies, to collaborate and tackle the most pressing issues that we confront in the field today. That is in addition to sponsoring travel grants to enable young investigators to share and publish their research findings at professional conferences.


We have ambitious plans for the Foundation, yet supporting all these projects without interruption is a costly proposition. To this end, the work we do has been made possible only because of your generosity. So in this season of giving, I hope that we continue to earn your trust as valued partners. I am very thankful to you for making us part of your journey.

With much gratitude,



Zaher Nahle, PhD, MPA (Dr. Z)
Executive Director, ANRF

Click here to see Volume 1 : Issue 2 of The ANRF Chronicle newsletter 

Article Author
Arthritis National Research Foundation

The Arthritis National Research Foundation's mission is to provide initial research funding to brilliant, investigative scientists with new ideas to cure arthritis and related autoimmune diseases. Writing articles about the patients affected and the science being done to find a cure shows why we need to come together to #CureArthritis!

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