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Top 10 Research Advances of 2021

Researchers coast-to-coast are fighting the fire of arthritis by thinking innovatively about the problems of arthritis – big and small – and pushing the boundaries on our understanding of the disease. 

Last year saw bold advances, from identifying new subtypes of osteoarthritis for which treatments can be better targeted, to gaining important insight into how arthritis affects a child’s academic performance.  

The Arthritis Society is proud to announce the Top 10 Arthritis Research Advances of 2021.  

“Our annual Top 10 list allows us to shine a spotlight on some of the advances that really stand out. We’re proud to support the researchers who are helping us reach the goal of one day soon extinguishing the fire of arthritis for good, and we congratulate them on their achievements,” said Dr. Siân Bevan, Chief Science Officer at the Arthritis Society. 

“Thank you for your continued support in making research like mine possible,” said Dr. Sowmya Viswanathan, a researcher behind one of this year’s Top 10 advances. 

She and her student Mable Wing Yan Chan created a new tool to evaluate osteoarthritis treatments in the lab by collecting cartilage and joint lining from people during knee replacement surgery. The model was treated with a common drug used to treat osteoarthritis to study the effects of the drug on the tissues. This innovative research tool could help better predict the effects of new therapies and accelerate the development of new drugs that are urgently needed for this disease. 

“This research brings us one step closer to discovering a better treatment for arthritis of the knee and other kinds of arthritis,” Dr. Viswanathan said.  

The Arthritis Society is Canada’s largest charitable funder of cutting-edge arthritis research. Thanks to the generous support of donors who help fuel our mission, we were able to invest $3.6M in research last year alone. 

Read about all the Top 10 Research Advances of 2021

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