University of Missouri - Columbia.
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Posted 09.02.05

Comparative Orthopaedic Lab Recieves $320,000 to Fund Reeves Endowment in Arthritis Diagnostics

COLUMBIA, MO -- Arthritis research conducted at the Comparative Orthopaedic Laboratory at the University of Missouri-Columbia received a major boost today as officials announced a $320,000 gift to help fund the lab's groundbreaking research.

The gift, made by Robert and Judi Reeves of Columbia, will establish the Robert and Judi Reeves Endowment in Arthritis Diagnostics. It will fund projects, personnel and equipment directly related discovering ways to diagnose arthritis before it is symptomatic and while it is still reversible or curable, said James Cook, director of the lab, professor of veterinary medicine and surgery, and William C. Allen Endowed Scholar for Orthopaedic Research.

"We already are working on these projects by trying to find molecular and imaging markers that tell us if arthritis is going to occur, what joints it will involve, and how bad it will be," Cook said. "This is very exciting work as it could completely revolutionize medicine and treatment of arthritis."

One of the major benefits of the endowment, Cook said, is that it will help fund preliminary work that researchers hope will lead to larger grants. The lab is one of only a handful of comparative orthopaedic laboratories in the world dedicated to arthritis research.

Robert Reeves said he and his wife wanted to establish the endowment because the research conducted in the lab has the ability to cause sweeping changes in diagnosis and treatment of arthritis. He feels that the team of researchers in the lab are highly motivated to succeed.

"I feel like they are excited about their work," Reeves said. "They are doing excellent work in several areas, but two really stand out. First, they're making progress toward the longer-term goal of growing tissue to use in arthritis treatment rather than using metal. Second, and more applicable now, is their work at the molecular level to help in diagnosing arthritis extremely early. That has the potential to help millions of people."



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