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Learn More about AIR
Arthritis Internet Registry
The Arthritis Internet Registry (AIR) is groundbreaking study to use the power of the internet to create a community of arthritis patients for discovery research. AIR recognizes the importance of research to improve the lives of arthritis patients. At the same time, we recognize the needs of patients to discuss their disease with other patients. The purpose of AIR is to bring together a community of arthritis patients -- particularly those with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) -- to enable discovery research and social networking via the internet.
Initially, AIR will focus on enrolling patients, collecting relevant clinical data, and collecting blood biospecimens for discovery research. Such research includes understanding genetic predictors of RA risk, cardiovascular complications and response to RA therapies. As AIR grows, we will add social networking capabilities to allow arthritis patients to communicate with other arthritis patients about their disease.
AIR is a partnership between leading academic researchers (see below), the Arthritis Foundation, and Quest Diagnostics. Drs. Kaleb Michaud (National Data Bank for Rheumatic Diseases) and Robert Plenge (Harvard Medical School, Brigham and Women's Hospital) will lead the pilot study.
Meet the AIR Researchers
Kaleb Michaud, PhD
Dr. Michaud is an Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Section of Rheumatology & Immunology at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha. Since 2001 Dr. Michaud has provided statistical analysis and research project guidance to the National Data Bank for Rheumatic Diseases, the largest non-administrative, observational open-cohort study of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in the world. In addition, he is the principle investigator for the Rheumatoid Arthritis Investigators Network (RAIN) database and is a researcher with the Veterans Affairs RA (VARA) registry.
His primary interests are in the pharmacoepidemiology, burden of disease, mortality, and cost-effectiveness of treatment for people with RA. He currently receives support from an Arthritis Foundation's New Investigator Award, has been appointed an Adjunct Affiliate at Stanford University’s Center for Primary Care and Outcomes Research, and has been invited to the Young Investigators Initiative Workshop Program, US Bone & Joint Decade.
Robert Plenge, MD, PhD
Dr. Plenge is a clinical rheumatologist and human geneticist at Harvard Medical School. His research interest is to translate genetic discoveries to care of patients with common autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).
Dr. Plenge has contributed substantially to a thriving research group at the Broad Institute and in Boston to understand the genetic basis of immune-mediated diseases. His future goals include understanding how newly identified gene variants change the immune system to cause disease and how these variants can be used in the rheumatology clinic to treat patients more effectively.
He is an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School in the Harvard/Partners Center for Genetics and Genomics and the Department of Medicine. He is also the director of genetics and genomics in the Division of Rheumatology, Immunology and Allergy at Brigham and Women's Hospital.
Dr. Plenge was awarded the Young Investigator Award (2008) in the Department of Medicine (Brigham and Women’s Hospital), a Career Award for Medical Scientists through the Burroughs Wellcome Fund (2008), and an Excellence in Tutoring Award given by Harvard Medical School (2007 and 2008).