November 10-15

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ACR Convergence 2023

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Home // Gaylis award for community rheumatologist research grant to be available in 2016

Gaylis award for community rheumatologist research grant to be available in 2016


2 minutes

Next year, rheumatologists in community practice will be eligible for a new award from the Rheumatology Research Foundation.

15_ACR_D2_S1_Pg24_FDN Gaylis Award
Norman B. Gaylis, MD

Thanks to a $1 million commitment, the Norman B. Gaylis, MD, Research Award for Rheumatologists in Community Practice will provide them support to test theories based on their own observations.

For four decades, Dr. Gaylis has cared for patients with rheumatic disease and conducted research in his office. As president of Arthritis and Rheumatic Disease Specialties in South Florida, he has seen the benefits that clinical research studies have had on his patients. He has also experienced the challenges that come with conducting clinical studies and how they are funded.

“This new grant will give rheumatologists more freedom than a study that is controlled, directed, and created by someone else who has defined the goals and the endpoints,” Dr. Gaylis said. “This research can be generated and controlled by the rheumatologists themselves.”

Dr. Gaylis says community rheumatologists have unique perspectives and “day-to-day exposure and relationships with patients that allow them to notice patterns and nuances that others might not have.

“We get ideas and want to dig deeper to find out if they will help us better treat our patients. But it’s very difficult, with the resources available, to find the money and time to do this in a disciplined fashion,” he said.

Dr. Gaylis has been the principal investigator on more than 200 clinical trials testing new pharmaceutical products for treating various rheumatic diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and gout. Most of the funding for his trials has come from pharmaceutical companies.

“I’m very grateful to pharma for supporting some of the studies I’ve done. But the reality is that these studies are always supported by someone with a vested interest. It’s very rare to find a source of funding without it,” he said.

Having experienced the excitement and gratitude that comes from the ability to conduct research, he agreed with the Foundation’s goal to provide that opportunity to fellow rheumatologists. Dr. Gaylis hopes the award will not only encourage community rheumatologists to explore other aspects of the field, but also bring recognition to the important role that clinicians play in the specialty.

“We’re not generally the ones who announce the discoveries or win the awards,” he said. “We’re the ones who get calls in the middle of the night from patients whose medication isn’t helping.”