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                Homing in on a Target

               An international collaboration reveals a disease mechanism

               underlying axial spondyloarthritis

                ABOUT THE RESEARCH TEAM                          contributes to axial spondyloarthritis, a
               The team, led by Dr. Nigil Haroon, comprised      debilitating form of arthritis. Their previous work
                more than 20 individuals from 14 research institutes   showed that levels of MIF are higher in patients
                located in Canada, Italy, South Korea, Slovakia,   with the disease and correlate with disease severity.
                Belgium and the United States. “In translational   The new findings reveal that MIF increases
                research, there are significant benefits to working   levels of a type of T cell—an immune cell that
                as part of an interdisciplinary team. For one, the   causes inflammation—in experimental models
                pooled expertise enables you to speed up the pace   of the disease and in the clinic. By defining the
                of the research and overcome hurdles faster. Also,   underlying drivers of inflammation, the study lays
               working with other clinical centres connects      the foundation for new therapies that target MIF.
               you with more patient collaborators, increasing
                participant diversity. This makes your findings   Sci Transl Med. 2021 Oct 20. doi: 10.1126/scitranslmed.
                more meaningful and enables you to validate your   abg1210. Supported by the Canadian Institutes of Health
                results in other settings,” says Dr. Haroon.     Research, the Arthritis Society Canada, the American College
                                                                 of Rheumatology Research, the National Institutes of Health
                                                                 (USA), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council
                KEY FINDINGS                                     of Canada, the Canada Foundation for Innovation, the
               The team examined how a protein called            Ontario Research Fund, IBM, the Ian Lawson Van Toch Cancer
                macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF)     Informatics Fund and UHN Foundation. M Kapoor holds a Tier
                                                                 1 Canada Research Chair in Mechanisms of Joint Degeneration.
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