CARRA Newsletter - April 2019 Issue 1




2019 Annual Scientific Meeting Updates

CARRA looks forward to seeing many of you the Annual Scientific Meeting next week in Louisville and we are excited to tell you more about our plenary speakers!

Speaker Features

In this Issue...

2019 Annual Meeting

2019 CARRA Elections

Grant Recipients

Manuscript RFA

Lupus Foundation Grants

Childhood Arthritis & Beyond Meeting

Walk to Cure Arthritis

Registry Enrollment Updates

Upcoming Events

Arthritis Foundation Updates

Angelo Ravelli, MD

Angelo Ravelli, MD, is Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Genoa and Giannina Gaslini Institute, Genoa, Italy.

Dr. Ravelli will be engaging Dr. Solomon in debate on Thursday April 11 at 3:30 PM in the “Treat-to-Target Debate Session.” Dr. Ravelli will give a fifteen minute presentation on the “pro” side. Mara Becker will then moderate a ten minute “retort” from each side, followed by a Question and Answer session between the two!

His field of clinical and research activity focuses on pediatric rheumatology. He has received numerous grants and awards, including the Gerolamo Gaslini Prize for Excellence in Research in 2004 and a grant from the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) and European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) to conduct the project aimed to develop the new classification criteria for macrophage activation syndrome in SJIA. Dr. Ravelli was also the Chairman of the International Consensus Conference which led to the development of the new classification criteria for macrophage activation syndrome in systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis (Genoa, Italy, 21-22 March 2014). He is currently Treasurer of the Pediatric Rheumatology European Association (PRES), Chair Elect of EULAR Standing Committee for Pediatric Rheumatology and Chairman of the Italian Pediatric Rheumatology Study Group. Dr. Ravelli has been invited to speak in more than 200 national and international meetings, and is author or co-author of more than 220 full-length articles in international scientific journals. His Google Scholar h-index is 53.

Daniel Solomon, MD, MPH

Daniel H. Solomon, MD, MPH, is a Professor of Medicine and Chief of the Section Clinical Sciences in the Division of Rheumatology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH).

Dr. Solomon will be engaging Dr. Ravelli in debate on Thursday April 11 at 3:30 PM in the “Treat-to-Target Debate Session.” Dr. Solomon will give a fifteen minute presentation on the “con” side. Mara Becker will then moderate a ten minute “retort” from each side, followed by a Question and Answer session between the two!

He holds the Matthew H. Liang Distinguished Chair in Arthritis and Population Health at BWH. Solomon has advanced the care and treatment of patients throughout his career, most notably with his investigative research achievements in the epidemiology of rheumatic diseases and the comparative effectiveness of treatments in this area.

Solomon earned his BA and MD degrees at Yale University, MPH at Harvard University and completed his residency in internal medicine and fellowship in rheumatology at BWH. His early work focused on the safety of NSAIDs and selective COX-2 inhibitors, and he continues to study analgesics. He has also examined osteoporosis prescribing in the US and conducted several large-scale trials to improve osteoporosis care.

Solomon’s current research focuses on cardiovascular disease in rheumatoid arthritis, and he is the co-Principal Investigator on an NIH funded trial testing the effect of disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) on cardiovascular disease, also known as the TARGET trial.  He also has several ongoing projects improving implementation of treat to target in rheumatoid arthritis.

He has published over 370 original articles, 60 editorials and book chapters, and has been PI on numerous NIH, foundation, and industry supported grants.  He currently is the Deputy Editor of Arthritis & Rheumatology.  As well, he is the Chair of the FDA Arthritis Advisory Committee. He is also the PI of the VERITY P30 Clinical Research Core at BWH which aims to improve clinical research in rheumatology.

In addition to his investigative achievements, Solomon has a busy clinical practice and has played a special role in helping the Hispanic community and been instrumental in advancing the collaborative clinical Cardiovascular in Rheumatology Medicine practice at BWH. Solomon has mentored over 30 trainees and junior faculty and was recently awarded The Baughman Faculty Mentoring Award at BWH.

Bryce Reeve, PhD

Bryce Reeve, PhD, is a Professor of Population Health Sciences and Professor of Pediatrics within the Duke University School of Medicine. 

Dr. Reeve will be speaking on Friday April 12 at 8:00 AM in the “PROMIS/PROs General Session.” He will give a 25 minute presentation about “PROs” (Patient Reported Outcomes) and research, followed by ten minutes of questions and answers.

At Duke, he serves as Director of the Center for Health Measurement.  Trained in psychometric methods, Dr. Reeve’s work focuses on enhancing the application of patient-reported data in clinical research and practice to improve the quality of care for pediatric and adult patients with chronic diseases. This includes the development of patient-reported questionnaires using qualitative and quantitative methodologies and integration of patient-reported data in research and healthcare delivery to inform decision-making.  From 2000 to 2010, Dr. Reeve served as Program Director for the U.S. National Cancer Institute. In that role, he was instrumental in the development and scientific direction for the Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS) and the PRO version of the Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events (PRO-CTCAE) initiatives.  From 2010 to 2017, he served as Professor of Health Policy and Management within the Gillings School of Global Public Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  He currently serves, or has served, as PI on two NIH-funded R01 grants, a NIH U01 grant, a NIH U19 grant, a NIH R25 grant, and a PCORI-funded contract.  From 2011-2013, Dr. Reeve served as President of the International Society for Quality of Life Research.  In 2015, he received the John Ware and Alvin Tarlov Career Achievement Prize in Patient-Reported Outcomes Measures.  In 2017 and 2018, he was ranked, by Clarivate Analytics, in the top 1% most-cited in his respective field over the past 11-year period.

James Witter, MD, PhD, FACR

James P. Witter, MD, PhD, FACR, is a Medical Officer/Program Director of the Rheumatic Diseases Clinical Program at the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). 

Dr. Witter will be speaking on Friday April 12 at 8:00 AM in the “PROMIS/PROs General Session.” He will give a 25 minute presentation about “PROMIS” (Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System) measures and their potential for use in pediatric rheumatic diseases, followed by ten minutes of questions and answers.

He has served as the Chief Science Officer (CSO) of the Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS®), an early initiative of the NIH Roadmap (later known as the Common Fund) for Medical Research. He currently serves as CSO of the PEPR (Validation of Pediatric Patient Reported Outcomes in Chronic Diseases-PEPR) Consortium and is an NIH lead on the emerging NIH-funded research program, Environmental Influences on Childhood Development (ECHO).  He received his Ph.D. in Medical Microbiology/Immunology with a minor in Bacteriology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and his Medical Degree from the Medical College of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He is a Harvard-trained, board-certified rheumatologist who was on staff at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and the Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital (SRH).  He has also served as a member of several American College of Rheumatology (ACR) committees. Before joining NIH, Dr. Witter was a Medical Officer/Team Leader at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and a Staff Physician in Rheumatology at the National Naval Medical Center with an academic (Assistant Professor) appointment at Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS) in Bethesda. Until recently, he also served as an attending rheumatologist at the NIAMS Community Health Clinic (CHC) in Silver Spring, Maryland.  Dr. Witter has received multiple awards and honors in his Federal career, including the NIH Director's Award, and is a frequent presenter at professional rheumatology meetings. At NIAMS, Dr. Witter manages a wide-ranging research portfolio that supports patient-relevant clinical research and the design, development and execution of clinical trials and registries in rheumatic diseases in adults and children, such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, scleroderma, ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis, gout, inflammatory myopathies, and vasculitis.         

Gary Walco, PhD

Gary A. Walco, PhD, is a Professor of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine (adjunct Pediatrics and Psychiatry) at the University of Washington School of Medicine and the Director of Pain Medicine at Seattle Children’s Hospital. 

Dr. Walco will be speaking on Saturday April 13 at 8:00 AM in the Morning General Session. His discussion is titled “State of Pain Research.”

He has conducted multiple studies on pain treatment and assessment in children.  Dr. Walco was the founder of the American Pain Society’s first special interest group, focusing on Pain in Infants, Children, and Adolescents, and was the 2003 recipient of the Jeffrey Lawson Award for Advocacy in Children’s Pain Relief.  Dr. Walco is a past chair of the Pain Committee for the Children’s Arthritis and Rheumatology Research Alliance and served on the core committee for Palliative Care in the Children’s Oncology Group.  He is the president elect of the American Pain Society and is a past president of the special interest group on Pain in Childhood of the International Association for the Study of Pain.  Dr. Walco currently sits on editorial boards for the Journal of Pain, the Clinical Journal of Pain (past associate editor), and did so formerly for Pain, the Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics, and the Journal of Pediatric Psychology.  Dr. Walco is a founding member and currently on the Board of Directors for ChildKind International.  He has consulted on analgesic trials for children and served on the FDA’s Analgesic and Anesthetic Drug Products Advisory Committee.   Dr. Walco is the founder and chair of the Pediatric Research Network for Pain, an international collaborative to conduct pain research in children.

Visit the CARRA website for all information about the meeting.

2019 CARRA Elections

Steering Committee Election Results

JIA Vice Chair Pain Chair RCN Vice Chair
Sarah Ringold, MD, MS
Seattle Children's Hospital
Candidate Biosketch
Susmita Kashikar-Zuck, PhD
Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center
Candidate Biosketch
Chelsey Smith, AAHA, CCRC, ACRP-CP
Children's Mercy Hospital
Candidate Biosketch

The term of office for each of our newly elected Steering Committee members is July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2022.

Thank you to all of the candidates who participated this year and to everyone who voted!

CARRA-Arthritis Foundation Grants: Congratulations!

CARRA is pleased to announce the recipients of the most recent round of CARRA-Arthritis Foundation Grants! Five large grants and one small grant were selected for funding. Project dates for this most recent round of grants will be April 1, 2019 – March 31, 2020.  

Click here for the complete listing of awarded grants.

Manuscript RFA: Analyses of CARRA Registry Data

Due June 14, 2019

CARRA is pleased to announce the availability of funds to support production of a manuscript by funding statistical analyses of existing CARRA Registry data by biostatisticians and data analysts at the Duke Clinical Research Institute (DCRI), the Data Coordinating Center (DCC) for the CARRA Registry. The purpose of this opportunity is to engage the CARRA community in highly relevant clinical research and accelerate the publication of sophisticated high-impact analyses of Registry data by utilizing DCRI’s familiarity with the CARRA Registry database.

Lupus Foundation Grants

Due April 15, 2019

The Lupus Foundation of America is accepting grant applications to support continued growth in the field and develop the next generation of lupus scientific leaders. 

Both awards aim to cultivate and support lupus researchers and encourage the brightest and most innovative scientists to pursue a career in lupus research.  We need more trained researchers to help solve the cruel mystery of lupus. We have expanded the eligibility criteria for both the Gary S. Gilkeson Career Development Award (CDA) and Gina M. Finzi Memorial Student Summer Fellowship Program (Finzi) opportunities, simplified the application process, and increased the amount of funding available.


This award supports the professional development for fellows (any year) or clinicians up to two years post-fellowship in nephrology, rheumatology, and dermatology in the U.S. and Canada who are interested in lupus research. At least one award will be granted to a qualified applicant with a study focused on childhood lupus research. The Gary S. Gilkeson Career Development Award is funded this year, in part, by the John & Marcia Goldman Foundation. Four grant awards available of up to $70,000 each for up to two years.


The award fosters an interest among students in undergraduate and graduate programs who are interested in research relevant to lupus.  Students are required to identify and work under the supervision of a qualified investigator in the U.S., Canada, or Mexico. The program will award six (6) summer fellowships of $4,000 each.

Applications for both CDA and Finzi are due April 16, 2019 at 5PM EST.

Questions? Contact Alyssa Parks at [email protected].

Reminder: Childhood Arthritis & Beyond Meeting: April 23-26

The meeting organizing committee welcomes you to attend the Childhood Arthritis & Beyond Meeting, which will take place from April 23rd to 26th, 2019 at the Chateau Lake Louise, Alberta, located in the beautiful Canadian Rockies.

The meeting will bring together world-renowned academic and industry experts, clinicians, researchers, patients and their families to connect with each other, to lessons learned in childhood arthritis and to build the future of research in childhood arthritis. In addition to the symposium, presentations and panel discussion, attendees can enjoy spring skiing, barn line dancing, a fun-and-dance filled dinner party and the exchange with colleagues and community members in one of Canada's most magical places.

The conference will start Tuesday evening April 23 and end Friday at noon April 26, followed by kicking off a Charity Bike Ride across the Rockies! The conference is open to all physicians, allied health professionals, nurses, trainees, and whomever else has an interest in attending.

Click here for the program schedule along with the links to register and make hotel reservations. Please register as a “scientific participant”.

If you have any questions regarding travel, booking accommodations, or additional conference details, contact Ravneet Sran at [email protected].

Walk With Team CARRA!

The Arthritis Foundation has been a steadfast supporter of CARRA since its inception and is a major partner in support of our research to improve outcomes for children with rheumatic diseases. This spring, CARRA will be participating in the Arthritis Foundation’s Walk to Cure Arthritis events and we encourage you to join us!

  • If you have a walk team - Contact Vincent Del Gaizo [email protected] to link your current team to the CARRA National Team.  Your local event does not change. Money you raise locally will appear in your local area as it always does. The money will also count toward the CARRA National Team goal!  Nothing changes! 
  • If you do not have a local team - Contact Vincent and he will help you start a local team and link your local team to the CARRA National Team.  The event is super fun and a great way to engage your clinic and patient families! Please help us reach CARRA's goal of at least 5 new walk teams.  Click here to see a list of walk sites.
  • If you do not have a walk event in your area or you are unable to start a new team - Please consider donating to this CARRA National Team page and share this link with your friends, family and patient families.   

Our goal this year is to start 5 new walk teams.
Thank you for your support of CARRA and the Arthritis Foundation!

Registry Enrollment Update (as of 3/22/19)

Important Upcoming Dates

Arthritis Foundation Updates


Save the Dates!

The Arthritis Foundation will host the 2019 National Juvenile Arthritis Conference locations from July 18 - 21 in Houston, TX and August 1 - 4 in Minneapolis, MN. Click here to learn more!

JA Camps & Family Days

The Arthritis Foundation has camps and family events across the country that provide kids and teens and their families the opportunity to network, learn and play with others in their local community. To learn more about how you can get involved, please contact your local Arthritis Foundation staff. Please refer patients to visit for more details. Teen retreat and family camps are offered in the fall throughout the country.

Click here to see our new JA Camp promotional video!