CARRA Newsletter - February 2019 Issue 1


President's Message

In my last President’s message I looked back at events from the prior six months. On this occasion I would like to look forward. CARRA members are engaged in a number of exciting projects that will have impact on our community, and I would like to highlight a few of these for you.

First, preparations are well underway for the upcoming 2019 CARRA Annual Scientific Meeting, to be held April 10-14 in Louisville, Kentucky. The Annual Meeting Planning Committee has put together a great agenda following the same general plan of recent years, with Pre-meeting conferences for the Pediatric Ultrasound Course and sessions for Research Coordinators, Fellows and Early Investigators, and General Sessions built around individual workgroup activities. There will be three plenary talks including a ‘Great Debate’ on Treat-to-Target featuring Angelo Ravelli and Dan Solomon, a session on PROMIS measures and PROs from the PEPR consortium featuring Jim Witter (NIAMS) and Bryce Reeve (UNC), and a session on advances in pain research featuring Gary Walco. Information on registration and hotel reservations is available on the CARRA website.

In this Issue...

President's Report

2019 Annual Meeting Updates

2019 CARRA Elections

RFA: Utrecht Summer School

Childhood Arthritis & Beyond Meeting

Registry Enrollment Updates

Upcoming Events

Arthritis Foundation Updates

The Planning Committee is also piloting a new activity at the meeting this year- Shark Tank! This is a new grant opportunity for up to $35,000 where finalists will pitch their projects in a live session to a panel of peer experts and the CARRA membership. The final decision will include audience input, so flair and originality in presentation are encouraged!  This promises to be a fun and engaging event. Applications are due by February 25. Details are included elsewhere in this newsletter and on the CARRA website.

The Steering Committee has been engaged for the past year in a Strategic Framework project, working to define research and operational priorities for CARRA over the next 1-3 years. This activity is nearly complete and will be rolled out to workgroup leaders in the coming weeks and discussed in detail at the Annual Meeting.

CARRA is also engaged in a number of broad collaborative projects with other organizations that are at various stages of development. These include:

  1.  A pilot Learning Health System project to harmonize activities within the pediatric rheumatology community. The project is funded by a grant from PCORI and engages representatives from CARRA, PR-COIN and the Arthritis Foundation to work with consultants from the Anderson Center for Health Systems Excellence.
  2. Discussion on alignment of CARRA research initiatives and data/sample collection methods with UCAN CAN DU ( This is an international effort focused on defining best practices in treatment and support for translational research.
  3. Collaboration with the Pediatric Rheumatology European Society (PReS) to expand connections between North American and European pediatric rheumatology communities. In addition to the existing exchange of early investigators to attend the CARRA and PReS annual meetings and opportunities for CARRA members to attend the Utrecht Summer School, we are in discussion on development of cross-community collaborative research.
  4. Ongoing interaction with the FDA regarding changing the guidance provided for development of clinical trials in pediatric rheumatology. This is a collaborative effort of CARRA with the leadership of PRCSG and the Arthritis Foundation.

Although there are individuals leading each of these projects, we are always eager to engage any interested members. If you would like to join any of these efforts, or would like more details, please contact Kelly Mieszkalski or myself and we will direct you to the right contacts.

There are, of course, many exciting projects in progress within the individual CARRA Workgroups and supported by the various CARRA/Arthritis Foundation grant programs. I am continually impressed at the variety of research and professional activities underway within CARRA and at the productivity of this community. You are all amazing.

I look forward to seeing all of you at the Annual Meeting in Louisville!

Rob Fuhlbrigge, MD, PhD


2019 Annual Meeting Updates

Register to Attend the 2019 Annual Scientific Meeting!

We are pleased to announce that registration is NOW OPEN for the CARRA 2019 Annual Scientific Meeting. Join us at the Marriott Louisville Downtown from April 10 - 14, 2019. We hope to see you there!

For any questions, please contact Jena Kendall, Meetings & Membership Manager, at [email protected] or 414-918-9822.

Schedule & Session Description

The schedule and session descriptions are now available.

Click here to see the schedule and learn more about each session!

Reminder: Shark Tank Applications due February 25!

The purpose of the CARRA-Arthritis Foundation Shark Tank Award is to give CARRA members a unique opportunity to compete for funds to support research that furthers the CARRA mission in front of a live audience at the CARRA Annual Meeting! This is CARRA’s newest research funding opportunity and will be a fun event you do not want to miss.  CARRA members can apply for up to $35,000 in research funding. New or early investigators are encouraged to apply and will be afforded special consideration. Investigators with active CARRA-Arthritis Foundation grants are eligible to apply. Complete applications are due on Monday, February 25. Finalists will be selected to compete during the closing session on Saturday, April 13.  Finalists will present their project to a panel of “Sharks” who will select, with audience input, one proposal to fund. This award is made possible through the generous support of the Arthritis Foundation. CARRA would like to thank PeDRA for the inspiration behind this creative new annual meeting program.

2019 CARRA Elections

Round 1 Results

We are excited to announce the results of the first round of elections!

JIA Chair

Mara Becker, MD, MSCE
Children’s Mercy Hospital

RCN Chair

Mary Ellen Riordan, BSN
Hackensack University Medical Center

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 everyone who voted!

Round 2 Timeline

Round 2 will include the elections for the Steering Committee positions of Pain Chair, JIA Vice Chair, and RCN Vice Chair. The deadline for nominations has passed. Voting will open February 26 and close on March 7. Results will be announced March 14.

To view the full election timeline and Scope of Work for each position, please visit the Elections page on the CARRA website.

Voting ballots will be distributed to eligible voting members on February 26. Pediatric Rheumatologist, Emeritus, and Sponsored Voting Members are eligible to vote for the positions of Pain Chair and JIA Vice Chair.  Research Coordinator Members are eligible to vote for the position of RCN Vice Chair. Associate Physician, Associate Health Care, Fellow and Trainee members are not eligible to vote for these positions. If you do not receive your voting ballot or have any questions, please contact Brian Mondragon Jones at [email protected].

3rd Annual Utrecht Summer School CARRA Sponsorship Program

Now Accepting Applications!
Deadline March 25, 2019

CARRA has announced an exciting opportunity for up to 2 early investigators to receive sponsorship to participate in this year’s Utrecht summer school program course entitled “Translational Medicine: Doing the Right Research Right.” Fellows with established translational research interests will also be considered for this opportunity. The course will take place July 7 – July 12, 2019 in Utrecht, Netherlands. The sponsorship will cover the 850 Euro tuition (which includes housing and lunches), round trip coach airfare and $250 for incidental expenses.

This course tackles the intrinsic difficulties of effective translational medicine in rare and orphan diseases and is meant for early stage researchers with an interest in this field. A full course description can be found on Utrecht’s Summer School program’s website. This course is open to participants from a wide range of disciplines and will be led by a pediatric rheumatologist.

Check out the experiences from previous award recipients here.

For eligibility and application information, please visit the CARRA website.

If you have any questions about the program of applying for sponsorship, please contact the CARRA Research Administrator at [email protected].

These travel awards are made possible through the generous support of the Arthritis Foundation.

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].                                                                                   

Registry Enrollment Update (as of 2/15/19)

Important Upcoming Dates

Arthritis Foundation Updates


Winterhoff Arthritis Scholarship

The Arthritis Foundation is proud to offer a college scholarship opportunity. The Winterhoff Arthritis Scholarship is awarded annually to deserving students with arthritis or a related rheumatic disease who impact the arthritis community, serving as positive role models and leaders and live their best life, empowering others to do the same.  For more information, please click here.

Save the Dates

The Arthritis Foundation has announced the 2019 National Juvenile Arthritis Conference locations. Events will be held July 18 - 21 in Houston, TX and August 1 - 4 in Minneapolis, MN. Save the dates - we hope to see you there!