Arthritis Foundation and CARRA Fund $1.1+ Million for Childhood Rheumatic Disease Research

The Arthritis Foundation and the Childhood Arthritis and Rheumatology Research Alliance (CARRA) announce more than $1.1 million in research funding for childhood rheumatic diseases, including juvenile idiopathic arthritis.

WASHINGTON, D.C./ATLANTA, July 13, 2022 — The Arthritis Foundation in partnership with the Childhood Arthritis and Rheumatology Research Alliance (CARRA), today announced funding awards to eight CARRA investigators totaling $1,122,755 to conduct research aimed at improving outcomes in childhood rheumatic diseases, including juvenile idiopathic arthritis, the most common form of arthritis diagnosed in children.

The Arthritis Foundation estimates there are nearly 300,000 children and teens with arthritis in the United States. Childhood-onset rheumatic diseases include different types of arthritis and other rheumatic and inflammatory diseases that develop in children and teens. The National Juvenile Arthritis Conference starts in-person tomorrow, July 14, in Orlando, Florida.

CARRA logoFor the first time, the CARRA-Arthritis Foundation grants program is supporting Career Development Awards to junior faculty as well as an Implementation Science Testing Grant. The CARRA-Arthritis Foundation awards portfolio funds research that positively impacts the pediatric rheumatology scientific community, improves treatment strategies for pediatric rheumatological diseases and their implementation and advances the missions of CARRA and the Arthritis Foundation.

The Career Development Awards aim to define the immunological mechanisms that underpin macrophage activation syndrome, as well as to better understand how depression symptoms in young adults with lupus impacts their care. The Implementation Science Testing Grant will build on what was learned during an earlier Implementation Science Design Grant. The project team will utilize six CARRA centers to test an intervention aimed at helping pediatric rheumatologists optimize care for children with lupus. Other awards will employ cutting-edge genomic techniques to evaluate patients with systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis and create computer algorithms using information contained within electronic health records to easily identify which patients have rheumatic conditions such as juvenile idiopathic arthritis and lupus.

“We are extremely pleased and excited to fund these awards with the Arthritis Foundation, including our new Career Development Awards given to two highly deserving individuals with outstanding promise as investigators,” said Robert Colbert, MD, PhD, President of CARRA.

“The Arthritis Foundation is very proud to have partnered with CARRA since 2002 to improve the lives of children with rheumatological diseases,” said Steven Taylor, President and CEO of the Arthritis Foundation. “The current slate of awards builds on these investments while also supporting junior rheumatology investigators through Career Development Awards at a critical stage of their career.”

CARRA-Arthritis Foundation 2022 Research Grant Awardees

Career Development Awards

Susan Canny, MD, PhD, Seattle Children’s Hospital, Seattle, Washington. Role of Cytokines in Monocytes During Macrophage Activation Syndrome. Funding Amount: $374,988. (Local media contact: Susan Gregg, [email protected])

Tamar Rubinstein, MD, Children’s Hospital at Montefiore, Bronx, NY. Engagement and Depression in Adolescents and Young Adults with Childhood-onset Lupus. Funding Amount: $375,000. (Local media contact: Rachael McCallen [email protected])

Implementation Science Testing Grant

Emily Smitherman, MD, University of Alabama at Birmingham. Testing an Intervention to Implement a Treat to Target Strategy for Lupus in the Pediatric Rheumatology Clinic. Funding Amount: $147,772. (Local media contact: Hannah Echols, [email protected])

Fellow Grant

Lydia Thomas, MD, Cohen Children’s Medical Center of New York, The Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research, New York, NY. IRF5 and T Cell Subsets in the Pathogenesis of Pediatric Lupus. Funding Amount: $25,000. (Local media contact: Matthew Libassi, [email protected])

Advancing Biosample Collection (ABC) Grants*
*Funds remain in CARRA to support biosample collection costs, only.

Lauren Henderson, MD, MMSc, Boston Children’s Hospital, Michael Ombrello, MD, NIAMS, Bethesda, MD. Sequencing To Advance Research in Systemic Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis. Funding Amount: $50,000. (Local media contact: Erin Tornatore, [email protected])

Susan Kim, MD, MMSc, UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital, San Francisco, CA. Juvenile Myositis Pilot: Treatment and Outcomes in Active Skin Disease (JuMP TO Act). Funding Amount: $50,000. (Local media contact: Lorna Fernandes, [email protected])

Small Grants

Alysha Taxter, MD, MSCE, Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Columbus, OH. Improving Identification of CARRA Subjects and Adverse Events through Novel Electronic Tools: A Multi-Center Study. Funding Amount: $49,995. Project Period: 7/1/2022 - 6/30/2024. (Local media contact: Media Relations, [email protected])

Kathryn Torok, MD, University of Pittsburgh, PA. Anchoring Molecular Phenotype with Clinical Outcomes to Characterize Pediatric Myositis-Scleroderma Overlap Patients. Funding Amount: $50,000. (Local media contact: Andrea Kunicky, [email protected])

About the Arthritis Foundation:

The Arthritis Foundation is fighting for all people who live with arthritis. As a Champion of Yes, it's the Arthritis Foundation's mission to turn the obstacles arthritis causes into opportunities. The Arthritis Foundation champions life-changing solutions and medical advancements, and it also provides ways for people to connect, break down barriers in health care and join the fight for a cure — uniting hearts, minds and resources to change the future of arthritis. To join the fight to cure arthritis, visit

About Childhood Arthritis and Rheumatology Research Alliance (CARRA):

Formed in 2002, CARRA’s mission is to conduct collaborative research to prevent, treat, and cure pediatric rheumatic diseases. CARRA is a 501(c)3 registered non-profit organization. For more information, please visit