An Interview with Jeffrey Katz and the Osteoarthritis Research Society International
Jeffrey N. Katz, MD, MSc, OARSI President
1. What is your organization’s interest in the Osteoarthritis
The Osteoarthritis Research Society International (OARSI) is the premier research organization in the world focused on osteoarthritis. Our members conduct research to prevent and improve the quality of life of persons with osteoarthritis. We use a range of disciplinary lenses, including prevention, diagnosis, treatment (exercise, nutrition, rehabilitation, medication, surgery, others), policy, fundamental disease mechanisms and translation from bench to bedside, among others. The OARSI mission is tied inextricably to the lives of persons affected by osteoarthritis, the clinicians who help care for these patients and the policies that inform care of osteoarthritis. The OAAA has been remarkably effective in developing a community of individuals and organizations (including OARSI) dedicated to preventing OA and improving the quality of life of those with OA. In this sense, OARSI and the OAAA are fellow travelers, working on behalf of persons with or at risk of osteoarthritis.
2. What do you think is the most important issue today related to osteoarthritis?
We have so many challenges, it is difficult to isolate one. That said, many in the field argue that our greatest challenge is that we do not yet have a therapy that can arrest or reverse the course of osteoarthritis. I am excited by the work being done in academic and industry laboratories around the world attempting to identify and validate a disease-modifying therapy. We’re getting closer.
3. How does your work connect to issues in osteoarthritis?
OARSI members are engaged in groundbreaking research, translation of research findings to clinical practice and evaluation of practice to identify opportunities for improvement. We publish findings from these efforts in various venues including our own journal, Osteoarthritis and Cartilage (and our online journal, which will be publishing its first articles later in 2019). Our members speak to audiences around the world disseminating research findings. We work with the Food and Drug Administration in the US and analogous bodies elsewhere in the world to guide policy on use of medications in OA.
4. What is a headline you’d like to see about osteoarthritis in five years?
“Recent data show that rates of total joint replacement, work disability and activity limitation in persons with osteoarthritis are diminishing”
5. What is one interesting fact you’d like people to know about your organization?
We are diverse! Our members reside in numerous countries throughout North, Central and South America, Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East, Australia and New Zealand. We have had several satellite meetings in Asian countries in the last few years. About half of our members see patients in some capacity. We come together for an annual congress in the spring (Toronto this year) to trade ideas, form and sustain collaborations and to kindle and nurture friendships.