Message from the Chair, Research Advisory Council
Philip L. Cohen, MD
For rheumatology research, these are the best of times and the worst of times. As we report in these Updates, wonderful advances are being made in understanding inflammation, cartilage biology, immunology and health services research. Yet academic rheumatology research units are coping with severe problems that threaten future advances. One of these is the increasing rarity of young physicians committed to academic careers in adult and pediatric rheumatology. Although many factors are in play, money is important. The financial sacrifices made necessary by the long process of training deter many talented physicians, a lot of whom are deeply in debt from student loans, from a career in research. The Arthritis Foundation, long committed to supporting research training, is reviewing its portfolio of research grants to help remedy the situation. In the next few months, we expect to unveil new awards to supplement stipends for physicians during their research training to reduce the financial pressures they experience. We plan for the Foundation to adapt to the changing needs of researchers, physicians and people with arthritis by supporting more “transition” funding to permit promising young physicians to build their early academic careers.