10 Research Projects

to Watch

Arthritis Research Canada/Arthrite-recherche Canada’s scientific team is tackling challenges faced by over 6 million Canadians living with arthritis – challenges that can interfere with everyday life.

Through 100+ research projects, we are finding ways to prevent arthritis, diagnose people earlier, manage symptoms, provide new and better treatments and improve overall quality of life.

Interested to find out what our research looks like in action? We are excited to share our list of 10 Research Projects to Watch in 2023. Please click the “Learn More” buttons below for additional information.

Arthritis Treatment & Children 

By better understanding the biological characteristics of each child’s arthritis, we could help select the biologic therapy most likely to be effective for that child. This study will develop tools, using various blood markers, genetics, and clinical information, to predict which drug a child is more likely to respond to, and when it can be stopped with little chances of the disease coming back.

A Personalized Decision Tool for Rheumatoid Arthritis

Choosing the ‘best’ treatment option for each patient should be based on the most up-to date data about its effectiveness and safety, and individualized to the specific situation of each person, as well as patient preferences. This study will develop a personalized decision tool to help patients choose the best treatment option for them.

Predicting Risk of Heart Disease for People with Lupus

Cardiovascular diseases, such as heart attack and stroke, are more common in people with systemic lupus erythematosus. This study aims to develop and test a tool that will improve the accuracy of predicting each person’s the risk of heart attacks and strokes, in people with lupus.


COVID-19 Risks for Immunocompromised People

Ongoing research is needed on the safety and effectiveness of multiple doses of COVID vaccines in people with auto-immune diseases who are taking drugs that suppress the immune system. This study will compare the safety and effectiveness of different types of booster COVID-19 vaccines in people with systemic autoimmune disease treated with rituximab.

Reducing Frailty in Older Adults

Physical frailty in older adults occurs when they reduce their daily activities and lose some of their physical function causing an impact on their overall health. This project will provide physical activity counselling, based on the new Canadian 24-hour Movement Guidelines, to older adults with chronic conditions who are at an early state of frailty. 

Rheumatoid Arthritis and “On Demand” Care

Rheumatologist follow-up appointments are scheduled at fixed intervals for convenience, leaving little time for last minute appointments at times of urgent need. This study aims to create and test a ‘patient-initiated’ model of delivering care where patients will be followed by their family doctor when their disease is stable, and arrange rheumatology follow-up visits when needed, rather than at fixed pre-determined intervals.

Anxiety & Depression in Arthritis

For Canadians with rheumatoid arthritis, pandemic-related stress was made worse by concerns about increased risk of COVID-19. This research compares trends in the prevalence of anxiety and depression prior to, during, and will continue after, the COVID-19 pandemic in people with rheumatoid arthritis, with and without a prior history of mood disorders. 

Importance of Strength Training

Strength training has a lot of important benefits for people with rheumatoid arthritis. This project is aimed at finding out what helps people with rheumatoid arthritis take up and maintain strength training and develop effective strategies for people to take part in this type of activity in order to improve their health.

Preventing Hip Osteoarthritis

One of the risk factors for hip osteoarthritis is a condition called femoroacetabular impingement (FAI). This study will examine the link between FAI and the risk of developing future osteoarthritis, and how different types of physical activity modify that risk.


Lupus & the Brain

A better understanding of what causes cognitive impairment in people with lupus and how it evolves is needed to identify adequate treatment options. This study will use state-of-the-art MRI scans of the brain to measure the leakiness of the blood-brain barrier, to see how it changes over time and how it corresponds to fluctuations in cognitive function.

Want to learn about other current research projects?