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Vol. LVIII, No. 15
July 28, 2006

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The Power of Partnership

The cost, complexity and other facets of research today make collaboration an essential ingredient for scientific achievement. As NIAMS enters its third decade, some of its most notable successes have come through
“In a successful partnership, each partner brings unique resources and strengths to the table.” — Dr. Gayle Lester, Osteoarthritis Initiative coordinator
the partnerships it has formed with other institutes, academia, industry, private foundations and patient advocacy groups. Such collaborations include:

  • The Osteoarthritis Initiative, a public-private partnership with several pharmaceutical companies to help find biological markers for the progression of osteoarthritis. It provides funds to research centers to establish and maintain a natural history database for the disease that will include clinical evaluation data, radiological images and a repository of biospecimens.

  • The North American Rheumatoid Arthritis Consortium, a partnership between NIAMS, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the Arthritis Foundation to support a national collaboration of 12 research centers in the search for genes that determine susceptibility to rheumatoid arthritis.

  • Upcoming Individual Postdoctoral NRSA Fellowships in Epidemiology, Clinical Trials Research and Outcomes Research in skin diseases and in orthopaedic surgery, to be collaboratively supported by the American Skin Association and the Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation, respectively.

  • The Health Partnership Program, a community-based medical research program operating as a collaborative effort between NIAMS and Washington, D.C.-area community leaders and representatives. The program is aimed at reducing the morbidity and mortality associated with arthritis and other rheumatic diseases, primarily in the African-American and Hispanic/Latino communities in the metropolitan area.

    To paraphrase an old saying, "a rope of many strands is stronger than a single thread." At NIAMS, collaborative efforts will always remain an essential part of our success in efforts to conquer human disease.