Lee C. Howley Sr. Prize for Arthritis Scientific Research

The 2017 Lee C. Howley Sr. Prize Recipient

On November 16, 2017, Dr. Farshid Guilak was awarded the 2017 Lee C. Howley Sr. Prize during the Arthritis Foundation’s Evening of Honors program at the annual Conference of Champions meeting. Dr. Guilak has championed remarkable breakthroughs in orthopedic and osteoarthritis research. Since January 2016, his work has appeared in 25 respected scientific publications. Dr. Guilak and his team have found a way to grow new cartilage on a hip joint-shaped scaffold using stem cells. His current Arthritis Foundation-funded project, “Engineering New Biologic Therapies for Arthritis,” is just as trailblazing, using genetically-created smart stem cells to identify and stop inflammation on a targeted cellular level. This “arthritis vaccine” delivers customized drug treatment to a specific area and begins the cell repair process through a biologic product.

Dr. Guilak is the epitome of a Champion of Yes, supporting the Foundation’s work with open arms, including his active participation in our events and prominent social media interaction promoting our efforts. He never says no to an opportunity that brings awareness to this disease – and we’re very grateful for the amazing, innovative and truly inspiring work he does day in and day out.

Sponsoring Organization

A prize of $10,000 is presented by the Arthritis Foundation. Support is provided by a generous endowment from the Howley Family. Award recipients must apply the prize funds toward the field of arthritis research (e.g., travel to a professional meeting to present findings, mentoring a student, laboratory costs, publication costs, etc.).


A new component has been added to the eligibility criteria for this prize. The Arthritis Foundation Howley Prize Award will be presented to an individual researcher with strong commitments to their academic field who has also demonstrated an exceptional commitment to volunteer work through the foundation. Nominations will be made by Arthritis Foundation employees who work with volunteers and advocates of the Arthritis Foundation mission. This prize will also evaluate the nominee’s original research conducted in the United States that was published in a peer-reviewed journal. The date of the publication for consideration for the 2017 Howley Prize Award must be after January 1, 2016.

Evaluation Criteria

In addition to performing innovative arthritis-related nominees should demonstrate excellence in one or more of the following areas:

  • A notable impact furthering the mission of the Arthritis Foundation
  • An ability to open doors or mobilize volunteers in expanding the presence of the Arthritis Foundation
  • Partnership development in the area of mission and/or fundraising
  • Highly successful fundraising efforts

Nominated publications are evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • Significance: The research is in alignment with the mission of the Arthritis Foundation, which is focused on finding a cure and championing the fight against arthritis and related diseases with life-changing information, advocacy, science and community. 
  • Innovation: The research challenges existing paradigms and presents an innovative hypothesis and/or addresses a research gap, accelerates translational research, removes barriers and/or catalyzes the development of the field of arthritis and related diseases. The research develops or employs novel concepts, approaches, methods, tools and/or technologies.

Previous Recipients

Previous Recipients Since 1984