Lisa Rider, M.D., a physician and clinical scientist at the NIEHS, received the 2020 James T. Cassidy Award from the American Academy of Pediatrics (APP) on Nov. 6. The award recognizes members of APP’s Rheumatology Section for their outstanding achievement in pediatric rheumatology.
Rider’s award was presented virtually at the American College of Rheumatology Convergence annual meeting.
“I am deeply honored and touched to receive the Cassidy award,” said Rider, who is acting head of the Environmental Autoimmunity Group at the NIEHS (see sidebar). “It is very meaningful for me. I really still have a hard time believing that I received it this year.”
Rider was nominated by Gloria Higgins, M.D., Ph.D., professor emeritus in Pediatrics at The Ohio State University College of Medicine. The nomination was unanimously supported by the Rheumatology Section’s Awards Committee.
According to Higgins, pediatric rheumatologists in the U.S. consider the award to be the highest in the field to recognize significant contributions in the areas of education, training, and improving patients’ lives.
“Dr. Rider is highly respected in the pediatric rheumatology community,” Higgins said. “I cannot think of any currently eligible pediatric rheumatologist who more strongly exemplifies the qualities and achievements which Dr. Cassidy must have had in mind when he founded this award than Dr. Lisa G. Rider.”
During her career, Rider has made significant contributions to pediatric rheumatology research, education, advocacy, and clinical care. She is an internationally recognized expert in childhood myositis — an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation of the muscles. As such, Rider has received numerous awards and has authored or co-authored more than 150 research publications, reviews, books, and book chapters.
“Lisa has been extremely productive and has been an important investigator and contributor to the field of pediatric rheumatology and to rheumatology more generally,” said Fred Miller, M.D., Ph.D., deputy chief of the NIEHS Clinical Research Branch.
“She has established a reputation both nationally and internationally for creative clinical research that is designed and conducted with extraordinary rigor, thought, and care,” he added. “Her input and opinions are well conceived, highly regarded, and highly sought.”
Rider has mentored more than 40 clinical and research fellows, graduate and medical students, college and high school students, and volunteers. “Her impact on the next generation of medical professionals who will be diagnosing, treating, and researching childhood rheumatic diseases has been significant,” Higgins said.
Beyond her duties at the NIEHS, Rider holds a clinic twice monthly at the George Washington University Myositis Center, where she is a clinical professor of medicine. She is a captain in the U.S. Public Health Service. In addition, Rider is chairperson of the medical advisory board of the Cure JM Foundation, which gave her the Lifetime Achievement in Research award in 2017.
Rider has helped to develop new classification criteria for myositis and contributed to several therapeutic trials. She led establishment of national registries of juvenile and adult myositis. Rider also led international projects to establish consensus-based response criteria. These consensus guidelines are used worldwide in both research and clinical care.
“She and her trainees have described and characterized new types of childhood myositis and their outcomes, as well as new or improved treatments for juvenile myositis,” Higgins said. “Dr. Rider’s impact on childhood myositis research and care worldwide demonstrates the vision of NIEHS, to provide global leadership for innovative research that improves public health by preventing disease and disability.”
Habers GEA, Huber AM, Mamyrova G, Targoff IN, O'Hanlon TP, Adams S, Pandey JP, Boonacker C, van Brussel M, Miller FW, van Royen-Kerkhof A, Rider LG; Childhood Myositis Heterogeneity Study Group. 2016. Brief report: Association of myositis autoantibodies, clinical features, and environmental exposures at illness onset with disease course in juvenile myositis. Arthritis Rheumatol 68(3):761–768.
Rider LG, Aggarwal R, Pistorio A, Bayat N, Erman B, Feldman BM, Huber AM, Cimaz R, Cuttica R, Knupp de Oliveira S, Lindsley C, Pilkington PA, Punaro M, Ravelli A, Reed AM, Rouster-Stevens K, van Royen A, Dressler F, Saad Magalhaes C, Constantin T, Davidson JE, Magnusson B, Russo R, Villa L, Rinaldi M, Rockette H, Lachenbruch PA, Miller FW, Vencovsky J, Ruperto N; International Myositis Assessment and Clinical Studies Group (IMACS) and the Paediatric Rheumatology International Trials Organisation. 2017. 2016 American College of Rheumatology/European League Against Rheumatism criteria for minimal, moderate, and major clinical response in juvenile dermatomyositis: an International Myositis Assessment and Clinical Studies Group/Paediatric Rheumatology International Trials Organisation collaborative initiative. Ann Rheum Dis 76:782–791.
Lundberg IE, Tjarnlund A, Bottai M, Werth VP, Pilkington C, de Visser M, Alfredsson L, Amato AA, Barohn RJ, Liang MH, Singh JA, Aggarwal R, Arnardottir S, Chinoy H, Cooper RG, Danko K, Dimachkie MM, Feldman BM, Garcia-De La Torre I, Gordon P, Hayashi T, Katz JD, Kohsaka H, Lachenbruch PA, Lang BA, Li Y, Oddis CV, Olesinska M, Reed AM, Rutkowska-Sak L, Sanner H, Selva-O'Callaghan A, Song YW, Vencovsky J, Ytterberg SR, Miller FW, Rider LG, the International Myositis Classification Criteria Project consortium, the Euromyositis register and the juvenile dermatomyositis cohort biomarker study and repository (JDRG) (UK and Ireland). 2017. 2017 European League Against Rheumatism/American College of Rheumatology classification criteria for adult and juvenile idiopathic inflammatory myopathies and their major subgroups. Ann Rheum Dis 76(12):1955–1964.
Kim H, Gunter-Rahman F, McGrath JA, Lee E, de Jesus AA, Targoff IN, Huang Y, O'Hanlon TP, Tsai WL, Gadina M, Miller FW, Goldbach-Mansky R, Rider LG. 2020. Expression of interferon-regulated genes in juvenile dermatomyositis versus Mendelian autoinflammatory interferonopathies. Arthritis Res Ther 22(1):69.
(Janelle Weaver, Ph.D., is a contract writer for the NIEHS Office of Communications and Public Liaison.)