Pediatric Rheumatology Collaborative Study Group (Cincinnati)

The Pediatric Rheumatology Collaborative Study Group (PRCSG), founded in 1973, is a consortium of over 91 academic clinical pediatric rheumatology centers in the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico whose chief aim is to conduct high quality clinical trials of therapeutic agents in children with rheumatic diseases.

The PRCSG is governed by a set of  Bylaws that are overseen by an Advisory Council (AC).  The chief functions of the Advisory Council are to provide leadership and guidance for the PRCSG in the following areas: identification and facilitation of research areas most likely to be successful and clinically useful; seeking of funded support for the groups research efforts; management and quality assurance of the PRCSG’s membership, its scientific studies, statistical analyses, databases generated, and publications. Membership of the Council consists of the Chairman, Dan Lovell, MD, MPH; Scientific Director, Hermine Brunner, MD, MSc; Immediate Past Scientific Director, Ed Giannini, MSc, DrPH; Principal Investigators of the PRCSG; Representatives from Childhood Arthritis and Rheumatology Research Alliance (CARRA), Association of Rheumatology Health Professionals (ARHP), Food and Drug Association (FDA), and National Institutes of Health (NIH).

The PRCSG has carried out and reported on or is in the process of conducting a total of more than 40 trials in children with JIA with many additional publications relating to methodological issues and secondary analyses of the trial database. The PRCSG has performed the vast majority of trials for the treatment of JIA in North America since 1977.

Daniel Lovell, MD, MPH has been the Chairman of the PRCSG since 1991. Hermine Brunner, MD, MSc has been the Scientific Director of the group since 2006 succeeding Edward H. Giannini, MSc, DrPH who had been the Scientific Director of the group since 1976.

A centralized Coordinating Center facilitates and manages all administrative, financial, regulatory and scientific matters related to the PRCSG.  Drugs previously tested include:

  • Abatacept
  • Adalimumab
  • Anakinra
  • D-penicillamine
  • Etanercept
  • Hydroxychloroquine
  • Infliximab
  • Intravenous immunoglobulin
  • Methotrexate
  • NSAIDs and selective COX2 inhibitors
  • Rilonacept

Except for the earliest of these studies (tolmetin sodium in the treatment of JIA), Dr. Giannini, Dr. Lovell, and more recently Dr. Brunner have served as the designers and coordinators for all of the studies. Numerous secondary analyses that used data generated in the initial studies have provided meaningful answers to important clinical questions. These investigators developed and validated the currently accepted measure of clinical response used in clinical trials involving children with JIA. This definition of clinical response was successfully utilized in the trial of the TNF-α blocker, etanercept, in children with severe JIA.

These same investigators also designed and performed the validation study of the Childhood Myositis Assessment Scale and have been actively involved in the definition of core sets of outcome measures and definitions of improvement for children with Juvenile Idiopathic Inflammatory Myopathies. Recently, the PRCSG, in collaboration with the Pediatric Rheumatology InterNational Trials Organization (PRINTO) and the Childhood Arthritis and Rheumatology Research Alliance (CARRA) developed a preliminary definition of clinical remission for children with JIA.

PRINTO, CARRA and the PRCSG are working together to advance research and treatments for children with rheumatic diseases. To foster this relationship, a collaborative agreement exists with PRINTO.




Contact information:

PRCSG Coordinating Center

Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center

Division of Rheumatology MLC 4010

3333 Burnet Avenue

Cincinnati, OH 45229


Telephone: 513-636-8071 (Daniel Lovell, Chairman PRCSG)

                         513-636-7982 (Hermine Brunner, Scientific Director PRCSG)

Fax: 513-636-5990 or 513-803-2938



Who is who?

  • Daniel Lovell, MD, MPH has been the chairman of the PRCSG since 1991
  • Hermine Brunner, MD, MSc has been the Scientific Director of the group since 2006 succeeding Dr Giannini
  • Edward H. Giannini, MSc, DrPH who had been the Scientific Director of the group since 1976.
  • Anne Johnson, BSMT, CCRP Senior Specialist-Project Management
  • Wendi Long, BS Clinical Research Coordinator III
  • Angela Merritt, BA Senior Specialist-Project Management
  • Tina Sherrard, BHS, CCRC Clinical Research Coordinator IV