CARRA Newsletter - February 2020 Issue 1



Keynote Speaker: Adam Resnick, PhD

We are excited to announce that Dr. Adam Resnick will be our keynote speaker at the Annual Scientific Meeting Opening Session on Monday, April 27. Dr. Resnick will speak on “Using Big Data as a Research and Clinical Tool.”

Dr. Resnick is a research scientist in the Department of Biomedical and Health Informatics and holder of the Alexander B. Wheeler Endowed Chair in Neurosurgical Research at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). He is also the Director of Data Driven Discovery in Biomedicine at CHOP, and is responsible for leading a multidisciplinary team to build and support a scalable, patient-focused healthcare and educational discovery ecosystem on behalf of all children.

In this Issue...

2020 Annual Scientific Meeting

2020 Membership Renewal

Spring Grant Cycle

2020 Steering Committee Elections

Call for New SRC Members

Tips for Engaging Your Patients in Research

Registry Update

Arthritis Foundation Updates

Important Upcoming Dates

Annual Scientific Meeting Quick Links

Meeting Registration (closes April 1)

Schedule & Session Descriptions

Housing (closes April 1 or until room block is full)

Travel & Travel Support

Patients & Caregivers

For additional questions about the Annual Scientific Meeting, please contact Gretchen Ponzer, Meetings Manager, at [email protected] or 414-918-9822.

Thank you to CARRA’s partner, the Arthritis Foundation, for sponsoring the CARRA Annual Scientific Meeting.                         

2020 Membership—Join or Renew Now!

As a CARRA member, you can:

Members must review/update their membership records annually and remain current on dues in order to be eligible for the above benefits.

CARRA expects all members to participate in surveys and elections. Participation is tracked in the member database.

For more information about membership visit the CARRA website. Email [email protected] with questions.


Spring Grant Cycle

CARRA-Arthritis Foundation Grants Spring Application Deadline: February 18

The spring deadline for CARRA-Arthritis Foundation Small and Fellows Grant applications is February 18.


CARRA-Arthritis Foundation Small Grant

This opportunity is available to support projects in development. New or early investigators are encouraged to apply and will be afforded special consideration. The research project can be a pilot, continuation of ongoing research, or other projects that move forward clinical or translational research that furthers the CARRA mission. Preference will be given to research that is collaborative in nature, which leverage current CARRA network resources, and/or will further develop the CARRA network.

Full Small Grant Details


CARRA-Arthritis Foundation Fellow Grant

This grant mechanism is exclusively available for fellows entering their third year who wish to perform a CARRA-related research project (utilizing the CARRA network, the CARRA Registry, or data and/or samples from other CARRA studies). The project must not be necessary to meet the ABP requirement for scholarly work product, but it may be supplemental. The intent of this funding program is to augment the fellow’s research portfolio by supporting a project that extends, enhances, or is distinct from their primary scholarly project, as defined and required by the ABP for Board eligibility. It is the expectation of CARRA that fellows and programs will honor this intent. The funding limit for a Fellow Grant is $25,000. At present, CARRA anticipates funding 2-4 awards per year. Funds will be provided to the awardee’s institution as a lump sum to be set up in a sundry account and used by the principal investigator(s) according to the project budget.

Funds are not to be used to provide fellow salary support, but can be used to support other personnel essential to the project. Total salary support costs must not exceed 50% of total project costs.

Full Fellow Grant Details

2020 CARRA Elections


Recently Elected Vice Chairs

Congratulations to our recently elected Steering Committee members!

Scleroderma, Vasculitis, Auto-Inflammatory, and Rare Diseases (SVARD) Committee Vice Chair   Translational Research and Technology Committee (TRTC) Committee Vice Chair
Eve Wu, MD   Grant Schulert, MD, PhD


Early Investigator Committee Vice Chair Runoff Election

For the position of Early Investigator Vice Chair, there were six candidates running and no one candidate achieved >50% of the votes cast. Per CARRA policy, a runoff election will now be held between the top two vote recipients. Voting is now open and will close on February 13!

Sabrina Gmuca, MD, MSCE   Melissa Mannion, MD

Ballots have been distributed via email to all eligible voting members. If you have not received a ballot, please contact Annie Lindenberg at [email protected].


Ethics Committee and Publications Committee Chair Elections

The Ethics Committee and Publications Committee Chair elections will take place in the near future. More information regarding those opportunities, including the call for nominations, will be available soon.

CARRA Members: Join the Scientific Review Committee!

Application Deadline: March 9

Peer review of grant applications is critical to the CARRA-Arthritis Foundation grants process. Peer reviewers are tasked with evaluating the scientific merit of CARRA-Arthritis Foundation grant applications in a fair, independent, expert, and timely fashion that is free of inappropriate influence. They play a very important role in CARRA’s mission to ‘Conduct collaborative research to prevent, treat and cure pediatric rheumatic diseases.’ Peer assessment will determine the character and quality of the research supported by CARRA-Arthritis Foundation funding.

By volunteering to perform peer review, members can provide service to the CARRA community and promote high quality research in pediatric rheumatology. For Early or New investigators, participation in grant review is a valuable opportunity to gain experience in grant development and review, and support their own career activities.

CARRA is seeking reviewers to serve on the Scientific Review Committee (SRC). Committee members will be responsible for reviewing CARRA-Arthritis Foundation Small, Large, Transdisciplinary Research, and Fellow grant applications. Senior and novice reviewers are encouraged to apply. (Fellows are not eligible.)

For more information about serving on the committee as well as eligibility requirements, please visit the CARRA website. If you have questions about serving on the CARRA’s SRC, please email CARRA’s Director of Administration, Brian Mondragon Jones at [email protected].  

Patients & Caregivers

Patients and caregivers also take part in the CARRA-Arthritis Foundation grant review process in an ad-hoc capacity to ensure applications are relevant to the patient community, feasible to enroll, and patient-centered in design.

If you are interested in becoming a patient/caregiver reviewer, please contact Vincent Del Gaizo, Director of Strategic Partnerships & Patient Engagement, at [email protected].

Tips for Engaging Your Patients in Research

CARRA’s Director of Strategic Partnerships and Patient Engagement, Vincent Del Gaizo, and CARRA member/PR-COIN Chair, Esi Morgan, led an engaging session at the 2019 ACR/ARP Annual Meeting in November. The pair highlighted barriers faced when recruiting families of children with pediatric rheumatic disease and proposed recommendations for overcoming these barriers. Their session was recently highlighted in The Rheumatologist. Click here to read all about it!

Vincent Del Gaizo   Esi Morgan, MD, MSCE

CARRA Registry Update

As of January 31, CARRA has enrolled 10,163 patients in the CARRA Registry, including:

  • 8,910 patients with JIA
  • 710 patients with SLE and related conditions
  • 176 patients with JDM or JPM
  • 35 patients with scleroderma

Other highlights include:

  • 394 biosamples have been collected!

Thank you to all of our CARRA Registry sites for all of your hard work! 

Arthritis Foundation Updates


Arthritis Foundation College Scholarship

The Arthritis Foundation is proud to offer a college scholarship opportunity. The Arthritis Champions 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 living their best life, empowering others to do the same.  Visit for more information!


National Juvenile Arthritis Conference

In 2020, the Arthritis Foundation will be hosting the National JA Conference in one location and having a family reunion. This format will give families the opportunity to meet up again with friends they have met at past conferences and welcome new friends. The National JA Conference will be held in Orlando, Florida, from July 23 – 26, 2020. Registration is now open!  Additionally, 2020 JA Conference Travel Award applications are open to both children/teens and their families (up to 4 people), and young adults (ages 18 – 30). The deadline to apply for a Travel Award is February 28. Visit for more information!

Important Upcoming Dates