Dr. Janet Pope

2013 Distinguished Investigator Award


Dr. Pope is a Professor of Medicine and Head of the Division of Rheumatology at Western University.  Dr. Pope has a highly productive, sustained, and diverse research program that has impacted rheumatology worldwide.  In addition, Dr. Pope’s teaching effort and mentoring have had a major impact on the career development of a significant number of Canadian rheumatologists.

Dr. Pope’s main research focus has been in the areas of connective tissue disease with specific emphasis on systemic sclerosis and systemic lupus erythematosus.  Dr. Pope is the Vice Chair of CaNIOS (Canadian Network for Improved Outcome in SLE), is a founding member of the Canadian Scleroderma Research Group (CSRG), and is a member of the Scleroderma Clinical Trials Consortium (SCTC).  Dr. Pope has 237 peer-reviewed publications (average of 12.5 publications per year) and 290 published abstracts.  Her publications are diverse, encompassing the areas of osteoarthritis, NSAIDs, glucosamine, osteoporosis, RA, ERA TNF inhibitors, rituximab, lupus, Raynaud’s, work disability, and even probiotics.

Dr. Pope is considered to be one of the few experts in the world in systemic sclerosis; her contributions to this field have included the following:

• Describing the frequency of clinical manifestations of the disease including pleural and pericardial effusions, erectile dysfunction, osteoporosis, elevated pulmonary pressures, and dyspnea as it relates to quality of life, rate of infections, depression, and indicators of morbidity and mortality in scleroderma.
• Defining outcome measures for clinical trials including patient functional outcomes and disease activity indices.
• Defining scleroderma through the creation and revision of classification criteria.
• Discussing the frequency and significance of antimitochondrial antibodies, anti-phospholipid antibodies, hypocomplimentemia, antibodies to RNA polymerase III, and anti-ccp antibodies in scleroderma.
• Investigating treatments (RCTs or meta-analysis) for scleroderma including calcium channel blockers for Raynaud’s phenomenon, bosentan for digital ulceration and pulmonary hypertension, and methotrexate and imatinib for early diffuse scleroderma.
• Epidemiologic studies of scleroderma including a cluster analysis in Southwestern Ontario to examine the increased prevalence of scleroderma

Since 1993, Dr. Pope has mentored 89 students; some have gone on to make significant contributions in the field of rheumatology themselves.  At any CRA or ACR meeting you’re sure to find a multitude of students (Pope’s pups) proudly presenting their research.

Dr. Janet Elizabeth Pope is this year’s recipient of the Canadian Rheumatology Association Distinguished Investigator Award.