Increasing Rheumatoid Arthritis Drug Efficiency

Massimo Bottini, Ph.D. of Sanford Burnham Medical Research Institute in La Jolla, California, has been awarded two years of funding by the Arthritis National Research Foundation for his project studying a new and improved system of drug delivery for rheumatoid arthritis.
Dr. Bottini
Dr. Bottini has developed chemically engineered nanoscopic particles which can efficiently and safely bring pharmaceutical and diagnostic agents into selected cells.  If this new drug delivery is successful, Dr. Bottini predicts that new approaches and lower doses of drugs can be used, thereby opening new avenues for low-risk treatment and/or prevention of rheumatoid arthritis.
Please tell us about your educational background and current position in research:
I received degrees in Electronic Engineering and a PhD in “Sensorial and learning systems” in 2000 and 2004, respectively, at the University of Rome Tor Vergata. After my PhD, I joined the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute (La Jolla, CA) as a post-doc. In 2007 I was appointed Staff Scientist at the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute, which is the position I currently hold.
What is the focus of your research?
During my post-doc, I started investigating the use of particles smaller than a millionth of a millimeter, called “nanoparticles”, for bio-medical applications. In particular, the main focus of my research is the use of nanoparticles to bring drugs into a specific subpopulation of T cells, called regulatory T cells, which have a very important role in maintaining the correct function of our immune system and avoid autoimmunity.
If your experiments are successful, what will this mean for arthritis patients?
Arthritis could develop when the functionalities of regulatory T cells are impaired. If we find a way to deliver drugs specifically into regulatory T cells, we might be able to boost their functionalities without involving other immune cell subpopulations and to achieve arthritis amelioration more efficiently than traditional approaches.
Your work has implications for delivery of therapeutic agents beyond arthritis.  How could this be used for other autoimmune diseases?
Our nanoparticles can be easily used as therapeutic approaches for other autoimmune diseases. Indeed, several other autoimmune diseases, for instance diabetes type 1 and lupus, are associated with regulatory T cells with impaired functionalities. Furthermore, many autoimmune diseases develop tissue-specific inflammations associated to a locally impaired immune system. Our nanoparticles could be also optimized to target regulatory T cells specifically into inflamed tissues and get disease amelioration more efficiently than systemic approaches
You are in the second year of support from the Arthritis National Research Foundation.  What has this support meant to you in terms of moving your research forward?
ANRF has fundamentally helped the progression of my research. During the first year of support we investigated the targeting of our nanoparticles to regulatory T cells and gathered important results. Thanks to the second year of support from ANRF, we can test our nanoparticles as regulatory T cell-specific delivery systems and get proof of principle about the ability of our nanoparticles to deliver drugs into these immune cells.
How important is an organization like ANRF to the medical research community?
Researchers need organizations like ANRF because they are at a time in their careers when they are trying to establish their independent fight against diseases and need to be supported during the first steps, which are always the most difficult ones. Many scientists that have contributed in the fight against autoimmune diseases (for instance, Dr. Nunzio Bottini and Dr. Salvo Albani) have received support from ANRF and were able to proceed in their research and meet their career goals. They, along with so many other ANRF-supported researchers, have demonstrated that organizations like ANRF represent an important ally of the medical research community – and for patients — in the fight against diseases.
To support more exciting arthritis research please make a donation to the Arthritis National Research Foundation. Your generosity leads to cutting-edge research and makes the difference in the quest for a cure.Related Posts

Teachers on strike, paralyzing the public university – blogspot of bangladesh

January 11, 2016 | Filed underEducation | Posted by MD Robin
Strike has paralyzed academic activities of the country’s 37 public universities. Monday morning, according to the aforesaid program, university teachers began an indefinite strike. Pay-scale subsidence remedy the teachers of all public universities in the eighth and the dignity of work stoppage is in demand. Education of the public universities are closed on Monday morning. Korsasamuheo education of the evening will be closed. The test will take a decision regarding the respective university teachers association. Dhaka University Teachers Association, students and ask them to consider the issue of education during the semester break / course decided to take the final examinations. The midterm examinations and other tests all classes will be suspended at that time
. Bangladesh Federation of University Teachers Association President Prof Farid Uddin Ahmed said, “Our strike has started since morning. More than 13 thousand teachers are doing in this program. “He added,” We have tried to solve the problem in the last six to eight months. Pradhaanamantrira have tried several times to talk to. But he gave us five minutes time. We’ve met with Education. There was not any solution at this stage, are forced to go today. This movement can not say exactly. This place has to go to our dignity. The strike will continue until our honor. “January 37 public universities in the university decided to strike after a meeting with representatives of the University Teachers Association. Muzaffar Ahmed Chowdhury at a press conference at the Dhaka University,
Bangladesh Federation of University Teachers Association President Prof Farid Uddin Ahmed announced an indefinite strike. At the time, the general secretary of the teachers attended ASM Maksud Kamal. Earlier, on January 3, demanding the teacher entered the class wore black badges. 7 January respective campus from 11am until 1pm the strike. The indefinite strike starting from today. Teachers’ leaders said on January 7 during the sit-in, is closed for a government to take its responsibility –Share this:Related

2012 July | Arthritis National Research Foundation

07.20.12 , In
Arthritis Awareness
, News
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At the Arthritis National Research Foundation we are serious about making a difference through research. Together, with your help, we can find a cure for arthritis. Arthritis encompasses over 100 different diseases including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, juvenile arthritis and other autoimmune diseases. Arthritis research is the key to finding a cure for these diseases. […]Leave Your Comments »

Kathleen’s Rheumatoid Arthritis Journey I Part 2

Last week Kathleen Rodgers recounted her story of living as a kid with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA) to an adult with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). This week, read Part II of her interview to learn about her thoughts on arthritis research and her inspiring message.
Part II
At the Arthritis National Research Foundation we feel research is the key to finding new treatments and a cure. This is why we focus our efforts strictly on funding cutting-edge research. How do you feel about the research underway and what would you like to see happen?
Nothing can be more important in the fight for a cure for RA than research. In order for this disease to be cured we need to first understand the disease and find out what causes it so researchers can work on finding a cure.
The key to this is raising arthritis awareness in the public and throughout government. RA is not listed as a high priority with them so we need to advocate on a regular basis to get this changed and help get a portion of the funding awarded to RA research.
You and your family can also participate in clinical trials or research studies about RA that will help in the search for a cure. My family has been working with the NIH by participating in a  long-term family study about RA to try to determine why one sibling develops the disease and why another does not. The more families that participate, the more information researchers have to work with and the closer we can come to finding a cure so others won’t have to suffer like we, or a loved one, did/does.
Do you have a message you’d like to convey to others suffering with your disease or other arthritic diseases.
Stay strong, stay positive, and never give up! Don’t let RA rule your life, instead become its master. Recognize that you will have good day and bad days and there will be some things in life that you just won’t be able to do, but there are also many things that you can do and many ways to accommodate people with disabilities. You can still participate in more activities than in the past.
The two life lessons I have learned are to have patience and to rely on others for help. Last but not least, remember you are not alone. Millions of Americans are affected by this disease. Surround yourself with a support group of those who understand and can talk to you when you are confused or feeling down.
We hope you enjoyed Kathleen’s story as much as we have. She inspires us with her words and we hope she touched you as well. There are a few days left in 2012, so please join us in supporting arthritis research by making a tax deductible donation. Have a wonderful and happy New Year!Related Posts


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Finding Yourself Through Juvenile Arthritis – Mallory’s Story

Mallory Walsh-Ruggiero was diagnosed with Polyarticular Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis and Uveitis at age 3. She is currently 27 and her arthritis is still active. While her juvenile arthritis has led to many trials and tribulations, it has also led her to her passion, photography. In her interview below she invites us into her life to understand what it means to grow up with juvenile arthritis.

What treatment protocol have you undergone and what has been most effective for you?
I have been on MANY medications over the past 24 years, some I honestly can’t remember.  Prednisone, Humira, Enbrel, Arava, Rituxan, Remicade, are just a few I’ve tried.  For years, nothing worked.  Currently, I am on monthly infusions of Actemra and weekly injections of Methotrexate.  So far, this combination seems to be working incredibly well.  While my disease is definitely still active, I’m feeling the best I’ve ever felt.

What has juvenile arthritis meant to your life?
JRA has definitely impacted my life; it’s made me the person I am today.  I’ve pretty much only known pain and sickness my entire life. I don’t remember the short few years I was “normal”. While some may see that as bad, it’s made me become a very strong person.  I’m able to handle tough situations very well. I see life in a different way and I try to not let the little things get me down. On the other hand, it’s made me shy and leaves my social life lacking.   I’ve lost many friends and family over the years who just couldn’t understand that sometimes I was in too much pain, or too tired to go out and do normal things.  For many years, I became very introverted, shy and kept to myself.  I didn’t really speak to anyone.  I’m much more outgoing now, but it takes me time to trust someone.
What are some of the challenges you faced as a family in dealing with JRA?
When I first showed symptoms, I was misdiagnosed and put in a cast.  When the cast came off, my left knee was locked in a bent position.  After being rushed to Children’s Hospital in Boston and being properly diagnosed, I had to endure years of physical therapy.  At first, I had to have PT five days a week.  My mom would bring me in, an hour away from our home, every day.  She had to leave my little sister at home with my grandmother, and I know that affected their relationship.  I couldn’t walk for a long time, so when going out, my mom would have me in the carriage and my younger sister would walk.  My mom told me people used to say awful things to her about that situation.  She was a single mom; she couldn’t afford a larger stroller.  She tried getting help, but at the time, JRA was rare and unheard of, so no one understood.
What are some of the challenges you faced as a kid dealing with JRA?
While in my early physical therapy years, I had to use a walker to walk, since my legs weren’t working so well.  My mom said many preschools wouldn’t take me as a student; they didn’t want kids with disabilities.  I would be out in public and had kids laugh and make fun of me because of the walker.  My grandmother told me that one time, we were in a local store shopping, and even though she only had her back turned for a second, when she turned back around, I was gone.  She found me hiding in a rack of clothes, crying, because kids had been making fun of me.  Being teased and bullied affects children.  I was teased a lot as a kid for reasons all relating to my health.
Has juvenile arthritis impacted the type of activities you can do?
I was never able to participate in gym or sports because my joints bothered me.   I was shy and afraid to make friends because of my arthritis.  It definitely formed my personality and I turned to reading and photography and became a little nerdy!  But I like who I am, and who I’ve become, so in an odd way, I’m thankful for what I have.  I know I’d be a different person today if I didn’t have arthritis and I have no idea if I’d like that me or not.
At the Arthritis National Research Foundation we feel arthritis research is the key to finding new treatments and a cure. This is why we focus our efforts strictly on funding cutting-edge research. How do you feel about the research underway and what would you like to see happen?
I support any research that is being done to help with better treatments and maybe even find a cure.   I’d love to see treatments with little to no long-term side effects.  I was first diagnosed with the JRA and Uveitis, but from side effects from all the medications I developed Glaucoma, a Cataract, Osteopenia, Asthma, IgA-deficiency, Dysmenorrhea, Eczema, lactose-intolerance, and GI problems.  I think I have enough and would not like to develop anymore!

How has your photography played a part in dealing with your disease?
My illnesses got so bad that I had to stop working.  I needed something to keep not only my mind busy, but to help cope with all the stress.  I had always loved taking pictures and decided to turn it into something more.  It’s become my passion.  I’m able to fuel all of my stresses and anxiety into my creativity and I’m a much happier person because of it.  I think finding a coping skill is so important; otherwise you’ll be depressed and that could make your symptoms much worse.  It’s amazing how stress can affect your body!
Do you have a message you’d like to convey to others suffering with juvenile arthritis or other arthritic diseases?
Don’t give up.  Find something that will help you cope.  It took me 24 years to find medications that seem to be working, but I never gave up.  When a medication stopped working, I said “on to the next!”  Everyone’s bodies are different, so what works for me, might not work for you.
To support those like Mallory please make a donation towards juvenile arthritis research .Related Posts

A Father and Daughter Racing to Help Cure Arthritis

Jon is Racing For A Cure at the Escape From Alcatraz Triathlon next month. He has psoriatic arthritis and his daughter has juvenile arthritis. This is their story as told by him.
Living with arthritis poses a number of challenges. When this directly affects you, you can choose to individually work through your pain.  Parenting a child with arthritis introduces a whole new set of challenges where you have far less control. You strive to set an example, be empathetic and hold true to the parental mandate of setting your child up for success and good decision making once they are no longer under your care.  You learn to gently, or firmly, push when you have to or to give a hug and a piggy back ride at other times.
Our daughter Mazie has JIA (Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis) and we discovered her arthritis when she was in kindergarten.  Mostly impacting her fingers, wrists, toes, knees and ankles, we have seen Mazie’s stiffness and discomfort flare up from time to time and some joints in her hands and wrists appear to be permanently impacted.  We first saw clear evidence of her joint pain when she would come down with strep throat and it has steadily progressed over the past 3 1/2 years.  Mazie is nine years old, is in 3rd grade, takes Naproxen twice daily and we have started her on Methotrexate.
I am 42 and have been dealing with psoriatic arthritis since my twenties.  I have had my ups and downs with the disease but have been able to keep it under control for several years using Enbrel and now Humira.  I have also found that my best, non-medical weapon against arthritis has been exercise.  I have run two marathons, several half-marathons, 10Ks and 5Ks, and I have completed one sprint triathlon.
As I struggled through the second half of the 2011 NYC marathon, I had a lot of time to think about my motivation for running and why I would continue to push myself to do long races.  I found myself thinking not about me and why I need to keep moving, but instead I found myself thinking about Mazie and the tools she is going to need to address her arthritis.  As I ran and eventually finished that race, I found motivation in not doing a race for me, but for my daughter who needs to learn how to battle her disease with all of tools she can gather.
I started to formulate a plan to do fundraising to help cure arthritis and to do this for Mazie.  I had been searching for the right race to make a significant impact, but I also needed the right partner to accomplish what I was hoping to do with my participation in the event.  When I found the Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon, I knew this was the right race – it was a worthy challenge with which to approach my network of friends and family for donations.  Next, I needed the right charitable sponsor.  Of the existing race sponsors, none came close to addressing arthritis.  So I set out to research arthritis groups and eventually found the Arthritis National Research Foundation.  I filled out the online form for Racing for A Cure and worked with Derek, ANRF’s Marketing Director, to arrange sponsorship for this race.
To make a donation to Jon’s fundraising effort visit
I have the advantage of having grown up playing sports.  I was recruited to play football in college, I was a competitive swimmer and I ran track in high school.  Mazie hasn’t had that exposure and we haven’t wanted to force sports on her.  Mazie does take ballet and joined a swim team last year, but we think it is very important that she learns how to exercise and to seek out activity in her daily routine.  My thoughts have been that if our kids grow up seeing their parents being active and doing hard things, they will also want to follow this path.  Understanding Mazie’s challenges makes this so much more important.
The plan to engage Racing for a Cure and to compete in the Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon has been focused on three primary goals:To help the Arthritis National Research Foundation to find a cure for arthritis – not only will this help Mazie and me, but also millions of others who deal with the affects of arthritis.To engage Mazie in the fundraising process and show her we can make a difference in the outcome.To try to inspire Mazie to choose to take on physical exercise in an effort to control and combat her arthritis.
So far we are seeing great results in light of these goals.  We are on target to raise $4,500 through Racing for a Cure.  Mazie has been hard at work in this process too, having a bake sale and helping with the fundraising.  Most importantly, Mazie and her Mom are now starting a Girls On The Run chapter in her school and they will both be completing their first 5K in April!  All in all, it is so rewarding to see Mazie understand the meaning in this lesson and to see her take on a physical challenge as she builds this skill set.
Through this whole process, we have found ANRF to be a wonderful partner and I believe they are doing great work in the field of research for finding a cure for arthritis.  We are looking forward to keeping involved with Racing for a Cure and staying active in our constant fight to keep ahead of our arthritis.
To join the Racing For A Cure team contact the Arthritis National Research Foundation through Posts

2013 March | Arthritis National Research Foundation

03.04.13 , In
Arthritis Showcase
, Kids Get Arthritis Too
, by
For Kacee Andujar, battling arthritis has been a lifelong challenge, starting from when she was diagnosed with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis at the tender age of 16 months.  Since then, her struggle has been wrought with financial, emotional, and physical burdens that made her future look grim. A few years back, while on a trip to […]Leave Your Comments »

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