Travis Montgomery was on the ground floor of helping guide the Arthritis National Research Foundation as a charter member of the Board of Directors in 1970. After serving for nearly 25 years on the ANRF board, Travis resigned in 2004 when he retired as Vice President and Chief of Staff at The Queen Mary. As a member of that original three-member board, Travis guided ANRF to make its initial arthritis research grant to the Long Beach Memorial Hospital Foundation in 1972. It was a grant of $100,000 to establish the first arthritis clinic and recruit the first rheumatologist to Long Beach.
At that time, the board decided to focus ANRF’s efforts on finding a cure for arthritis through funding research. A young post-doctorate researcher at the University of California, Irvine was introduced to the Foundation – Gale “Morrie” Granger, PhD. With an initial grant of $40,000 from ANRF, Dr. Granger pursued his research and discovered a new way of looking at how white blood cells cause tissue damage. The molecule and its receptors he discovered, termed tumor necrosis factor (TNF), led directly to the development of today’s most effective treatments for rheumatoid arthritis such as Enbrel.
With Travis’s return to the ANRF board, he is again working with Dr. Granger who also serves on the ANRF Board to give back to the organization that was so pivotal in his career. When these two get together they talk about their pioneering efforts and the growth of ANRF since its inception.
“It’s exciting to see how far the Foundation has grown from funding research grants only in California to funding quality research programs at some of the most prestigious research centers in America,” says Travis. “I’m looking forward to being involved in helping the Foundation expands its outreach even further.”
In addition to serving ANRF, Travis is a Past President of the Long Beach Area Council, Boy Scouts of America, an Eagle Scout and Silver Beaver Recipient, Past Chairman of the Board of Trustees of St. Mary Medical Center, Past President of the American Cancer Society (where he met his wife Valerie), and Past Vice Chair of the Long Beach Area Chamber of Commerce.
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