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Arthritis Society Canada announces 2023 Ignite Research grant recipients

The program provides essential funding to support transformative research in arthritis care 

Arthritis Society Canada is proud to share the 10 recipients of this year’s Ignite Research grants, a groundbreaking program that fuels transformative research into cutting-edge solutions for arthritis. 

The Ignite Research program centers on the development and testing of transformative, paradigm-shifting concepts and approaches that address critical barriers to progress in arthritis research. Encouraging bold attempts to test novel hypotheses and generate new knowledge, the program aims to improve arthritis prevention, detection, diagnosis, treatment, and support. 

One of this year’s grant recipients is Dr. Alan Rosenberg, a researcher at the University of Saskatchewan looking to improve our understanding of the causes of childhood arthritis, how to detect it earlier, and how to diagnose it effectively. As certain types of childhood arthritis are considered autoimmune diseases in which the body’s immune system produces proteins called antibodies that attack healthy tissues, Dr. Rosenberg and his team will examine how antibodies respond to and interact with different proteins in the cell nucleus. Identifying the proteins that are under attack in the cells of children with arthritis can help determine how arthritis develops and uncover new treatments to prevent these immune system attacks. 

“Today, we celebrate innovation and commitment to identifying research avenues of utmost importance to patients and achieving the highest levels of scientific excellence and rigor,” said Dr. Siân Bevan, Chief Science Office at Arthritis Society Canada. “The Ignite Research program is at the forefront of our efforts to challenge our understanding of arthritis and its management, and to deliver the best evidence-informed care possible. Each Ignite Research grant recipient exemplifies the spirit of discovery that will drive us closer to a future free from the agony of arthritis.” 

This year's recipients showcase a diverse array of projects including: 

  • Dr. Anthony Adili, McMaster University: Using psilocybin to treat hip and knee osteoarthritis pain 

  • Dr. Lisa Carlesso, McMaster University: Combining non-invasive brain stimulation and yoga to treat knee osteoarthritis pain 

  • Dr. Louis Gendron, Université de Sherbrooke: Targeting the unpleasant aspect of pain  

  • Dr. Pingzhao Hu, Western University: Using machine learning for evaluating disease progression in rheumatoid arthritis 

  • Dr. Valérie Leclair, Jewish General Hospital: Using an at-home disease monitoring strategy for dermatomyositis 

  • Dr. Sarah Manske, University of Calgary: Cone-beam computed tomography to diagnose and monitor rheumatoid arthritis  

  • Dr. Aaron Marshall, University of Manitoba: Understanding how sugar fuels autoimmune disease 

  • Dr. Alan Rosenberg, University of Saskatchewan: Discovering antibody targets in cells of children 

  • Dr. Philippe Séguéla, McGill University: Targeting tissue acidification to relieve arthritis pain  

  • Dr. Amanda Wurz, University of the Fraser Valley: Understanding resilience and mental health in people with systemic sclerosis 

Learn more about the Ignite Research grants and the Ignite Research grants recipients by visiting their pages.


About Arthritis 
Arthritis affects 1 in 5 Canadians (1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men) and is a leading cause of disability. Most people, however, underestimate its seriousness. Arthritis causes excruciating pain, restricts mobility and diminishes quality of life. It impacts people of all ages, including children and half of people living with the disease are under age 65. 

About Arthritis Society Canada 
Arthritis Society Canada represents the six million people in Canada living with arthritis today, and the millions more who are impacted or at risk. Fueled by the trust and support of our donors and volunteers, Arthritis Society Canada is fighting arthritis with research, advocacy, innovation, information and support. We are Canada’s largest charitable funder of cutting-edge arthritis research. We will not give up our efforts until everyone is free from the agony of arthritis. Arthritis Society Canada is accredited under Imagine Canada’s Standards Program. For more information, to donate or to volunteer, visit     

Media Contact: 
Jenny Ng 
Senior Manager, Public Relations & Media 
Arthritis Society Canada 

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