Lee C. Howley Sr. Prize for Arthritis Scientific Research

Emily von Scheven, MD, MAS, won the 2023 Lee C. Howley Sr. Award for her tireless dedication towards her patients, research and volunteer work with the Foundation.

The 2023 Lee C. Howley Sr. Prize Recipient

The Arthritis Foundation has a long-standing tradition of honoring physician-scientists who perform important arthritis-related research and show exceptional commitment to volunteer work through the Foundation. The Foundation recently announced Emily von Scheven, MD, MAS, as the 2023 Lee C. Howley Sr. Award recipient for her dedication to her patients, scientific research and several Arthritis Foundation events, including JA camps and JA Family Summits.

Dr. von Scheven received her medical education from Pennsylvania State University. She then specialized in pediatrics and rheumatology at Children's National Medical Center, Washington, DC, and Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA, respectively. In addition, she has a master's degree in epidemiology and biostatistics.

Throughout her career, Dr. von Scheven has focused on improving the end results of treatments in children with rheumatic diseases. For instance, she spearheaded the efforts to create consensus treatment plans (CTPs) for juvenile proliferative lupus nephritis. These CTPs help to directly compare treatment strategies based on standard clinical presentations of rheumatic diseases. In another line of work, Dr. von Scheven’s team has developed the “hope conceptual model” based on the feedback on research priorities from focus groups of young people with rheumatic disease and their caregivers. The information gleaned from this questionnaire will help better select national research agendas and funding opportunities.

Within the Foundation, Dr. von Scheven is an active member of the Northern California Arthritis Foundation Board. She also serves on the board of directors for the Childhood Arthritis and Rheumatology Research Alliance (CARRA). Dr. von Scheven is the founding and program director for the Wellness Center for Youth with Chronic Conditions and the Lupus Program at the University of California, San Francisco, Benioff Children's Hospitals.

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 firm 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.

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 study 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

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