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Research to improve outcomes for inflammatory arthritis funded for $2.5M


St John, NL – Researchers at Memorial University are leading the genetic investigation for a $2.5 million study over five years to improve the diagnoses and management of two forms of inflammatory arthritis – psoriatic arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis

The grant is the first National Research Initiative (NRI) from the Arthritis Society of Canada, which selected the Spondyloarthritis Research Consortium of Canada (SPARCC) to receive the grant.

Dr Proton Rahman, at Memorial University’s Faculty of Medicine, is one of four principal investigators in Canada for the SPARCC project. The other principal investigators are Drs Robert Inman and Dafna Gladman, University Health Network, Toronto; and Dr Walter Maksymowych, University of Alberta, Edmonton. “We are the node for all the genetic investigations, which include genotyping and training for the consortium,” said Dr Rahman.

“Leading edge research accelerates the development of new treatments which offer hope for people with these types of arthritis. This is especially important in an aging population,” said Dr Christopher Loomis, vice-president (research) at Memorial. “Understanding of the role genetics in these diseases is an important focus of research at Memorial. This grant from the NRI and the Arthritis Society of Canada will advance our efforts in a major way.”

The core sites for the SPARCC network will initially be in St John’s, Toronto and Edmonton. As a result of the NRI grant, the network will be expanded to include sites in Halifax, Montreal, Saskatoon, Winnipeg and Vancouver.