Arthritis Now—April 22, 2015
Dr. George Kalliolias, a physician-scientist in the Inflammatory Arthritis Center at Hospital for Special Surgery, recently received a grant from the Arthritis National Research Foundation (ANRF) for his studies in rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Additionally, Dr. Kalliolias was the first grantee of the foundation to be named The Morrie Granger Fellow for his innovative research in Immunology. He was featured in a two-part interview on Arthritis Now, where he discusses his novel approaches aiming to identify new therapeutic targets for patients with rheumatoid arthritis. His research is focused on the deleterious interactions between synovial fibroblasts and immune cells, during the course of rheumatoid arthritis. Synovial fibroblasts are resident cells normally present in the joints that become activated in patients with RA, contributing to joint inflammation and damage. Dr Kalliolias is studying the molecular mechanisms that turn on pathogenic genes in Synovial Fibroblasts, leading to perpetuation of RA.
It is Dr. Kalliolias’ hope that he will be able to contribute in the identification of new effective and safe therapeutic strategies that will supplement existing therapies for RA patients. In the interview, he also speaks on the effects of environmental factors, such as smoking, in RA pathogenesis. According to the American College of Rheumatology (ACR), there are over 1.3 million rheumatoid arthritis patients in the U.S. Those people can help advancing research on RA treatment, not only by donating, but also by volunteering in foundations such as ANRF.