The CAnadian Network for REsearch on COVID-19 in Rheumatology (CAN-RECOVR) was established to improve the health of Canadians living with rheumatic disease. Our mission is to enhance Canadian collaborative research efforts to study COVID-19 and rheumatology.

Rheumatic Disease

Rheumatic diseases are a group of diseases that are inflammatory in nature. They are usually autoimmune, meaning that the body’s immune system attacks normal cells within the body. Common rheumatic diseases include arthritis, lupus, scleroderma and Sjogren's syndrome. Rheumatic diseases usually present additional challenges to patients including immunocompromising medications, co-morbidities, and abnormal immune function.


We believe that patients with rheumatic diseases represent a key vulnerable population who, if studied, will help us unlock some of the mysteries around COVID-19. This motivates the overarching aim of our collaborative efforts, which is to better understand COVID-19 in rheumatic diseases.


1. To support Canadian cohort studies and other Canadian research initiatives related to COVID-19 and rheumatic disease

2. Define priority research questions related to COVID-19 and rheumatic disease

3. Harmonize multi-centre, multi-research network data collection on COVID-19 risk factors and outcomes across existing Canadian rheumatic disease cohorts

4. Conduct a workshop on COVID-19 and rheumatic disease as a forum for presentation and discussion on COVID-19 and rheumatic disease and foster collaboration and interdisciplinary research


  • Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) shortages during COVID-19
  • Antimalarial drugs in arthritis patients exposed to COVID-19
  • How COVID-19 affects systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patients


Mendel A, Bernatsky S, Thorne JC, et al. Hydroxychloroquine shortages during the COVID-19 pandemic. Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases. Published Online First: 20 May 2020. doi: 10.1136/annrheumdis-2020-217835

Mendel A, Bernatsky S, Askanase A, Bae SC, Clarke AE, Costedoat-Chalumeau N, Gladman DD, Gordon C, Hanly J, Jacobsen S, Kalunian K, Mak A, Mosca M, Pons-Estel BA, Ruiz-Irastorza G, Urowitz M, Vinet É. Hydroxychloroquine shortages among patients with systemic lupus erythematosus during the COVID-19 pandemic: experience of the Systemic Lupus International Collaborating Clinics. Ann Rheum Dis. 2020 Jun 25:annrheumdis-2020-218164. doi: 10.1136/annrheumdis-2020-218164. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 32586918.


McGill University
McGill University
McGill University
Dr. Gilles Boire
U de Sherbrooke
Dr. Sophie Rioux
U de Sherbrooke
Dr. Hugues Allard-Chamard
U de Sherbrooke
Dr. Lihi Eder
University of Toronto
Newmarket, ON
University of Calgary


For any additional information about the project or if you would like to get involved, please contact us at

Useful links

Explore research at the RI-MUHC