Arthritis Research Canada/Arthrite-Recherche Canada scientists receive top honours from the Canadian Rheumatology Association


February 27, 2020 (Vancouver, BC): Arthritis Research Canada/Arthrite-recherche Canada scientists capture the highest accolades from the Canadian Rheumatology Association with awards recognizing exemplary scientific achievement.

Dr. Paul Fortin, Senior Research Scientist at Arthritis Research Canada/Arthrite-recherche Canada (Quebec) will receive the Canadian Rheumatology Association (CRA) 2020 Distinguished Investigator Award. This award is given to a researcher who has made an outstanding contribution to rheumatology internationally and who has furthered rheumatology research in Canada, through the development of a major research program, innovation, and significant research activity.

Dr. Fortin has been working to better understand the bio-psycho-social impact of chronic rheumatic diseases such as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), antiphospholipid antibody syndrome (APS), osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and other systemic autoimmune rheumatic diseases.  In recognition of his research, Dr. Fortin has previously been awarded the CRA Young Investigator Award (1999), Kirkland Scholar Award (2008), and The Arthritis Society of Canada Distinguished Senior Research Investigator Award from (2007 – 2012). In 2010, he received the Hope Award from Lupus Ontario for “outstanding leadership in improving the lives of people with lupus” and in May 2015, the Jeffrey Shiroky Research Award for his accomplishments in clinical research in rheumatology.

“As the leader of Arthrite-recherche Canada at the University of Laval, Dr. Fortin has made outstanding contributions in research, particularly in the development of the unique MyLupusGuide – the first interactive website designed specifically for lupus patients. We are very proud to have Dr. Fortin as part of team,” said Dr. John Esdaile, Scientific Director of Arthritis Research Canada/Arthrite-recherche Canada.

Dr. Claire Barber, Research Scientist at Arthritis Research Canada (Alberta) will be presented with the 2020 Canadian Rheumatology Association Emerging Investigator Award. The Award recognizes a Canadian researcher who has contributed significant, original research in rheumatology and who has performed outstanding, landmark, original research (clinical or basic science) in rheumatology as judged by peers and citations.

The work on performance measures that Dr. Barber has championed in Canada has been key in helping address gaps in quality of arthritis care. Dr. Barber’s work to date has focused on measuring the quality of care provided to patients living with inflammatory arthritis and identifying gaps in access to care and timely treatment so that these can be remedied. Her current work through a CIHR-funded project aims to develop a comprehensive framework for measurement of quality of care and patient outcomes in rheumatoid arthritis.

Nationally, she led the Canadian Rheumatology Association Stand Up and Be Counted Workforce survey. This work highlighted an ongoing shortage of rheumatologists in all regions in Canada. Since 2012, she has been a member of the Quality Measures Subcommittee of the American College of Rheumatology.

“As the Canadian authority and a well-recognized international leader for quality assessment in arthritis, Dr. Barber’s area of research is determining the quality of care given by physicians and other health care providers and in doing so, identifying ways to improve it. This is significant for the millions of people with arthritis,” states Arthritis Research Canada/Arthrite-recherche Canada’s Scientific Director, Dr. John Esdaile.

Drs. Fortin and Barber will receive their awards on February 28 at the Association’s annual scientific meetings being held in Victoria, BC.

Congratulations to you both!



Arthritis Research Canada is the largest clinical arthritis research institution in North America. Our mission is to transform the lives of people living with arthritis through research and engagement. Led by world-renowned rheumatologist, Dr. John Esdaile, Arthritis Research Canada’s scientific team of over 100 are creating a future where people living with arthritis are empowered to triumph over pain and disability. Within British Columbia, Alberta and Quebec, Arthritis Research Canada is leading research aimed at arthritis prevention, early diagnosis, new and better treatment, and improved quality of life.

For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:  

Marketing & Communications

Arthritis Research Canada

604-207-4002 or mc@arthritisresearch.ca

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