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Canada Spearheads International Arthritis Research Program

May 25, 2007

The mysteries of arthritis will soon have an international team of arthritis researchers on their case. The Canadian Arthritis Network (CAN) is leading an effort that brings together world-class arthritis organizations from Switzerland, England, Japan and the United States thanks to a new program being funded by the federal government.

The International Partnership Initiative is a pilot project created by the Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE). The Canadian Arthritis Network will receive $700,000 over two years to send eligible members of the Network -- arthritis researchers, graduate students and representatives of its Consumer (Patient) Advisory Council -- to participate in international conferences and up to 40 academic sabbaticals or exchanges in international partner laboratories to build research collaborations. Network researchers will be hosting international graduate students and researchers in Canadian labs.

"CAN is thrilled to have been chosen by the NCE for this opportunity," says Dr. John Esdaile, Scientific Director and CEO of the Canadian Arthritis Network. "Canadian arthritis research is recognized internationally for excellence but this will expand that recognition. The exchange of graduate students and scientists with other research power houses around the world will speed up arthritis research success, benefit the Canadian economy and will improve the lives of the 4.5 million Canadians who suffer from painful and often debilitating forms of arthritis."

"These NCEs have put forward innovative proposals that support the New Government of Canada's vision for a more productive economy and extend Canada's influence around the world," said Minister Bernier. "This investment will place Canadian research at the forefront of international initiatives that are important to our economy and society."

Confirmed international partners include: AO Foundation (Switzerland); Arthritis Research Campaign (UK); Japan Society for the Promotion of Science; Nuffield Foundation: The Oliver Bird Fund (UK); and the Arthritis Foundation (US).

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