Randy Cron, PhD, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

"Role of STATS in IL-15-Augmented CD 154 Transcription in SLE"

2006 Novel Pilot Projects Program

The Kassie McMullin Biglow Memorial Research Award - This grant was presented in memory of Kassie McMullin Biglow and was made possible by funds contributed through the NBC TODAY Show annual Green Room Book Auction and matching funds provided by Aspreva Pharmaceutical Company.

CD154 is a protein that is over-expressed on some of the white blood cells in patients with lupus, and this might contribute to lupus. The researchers have found some factors that might contribute to increased CD154 in lupus and are looking for ways to dampen its expression. Specifically, they identified a protein, STAT5, that increases CD154 expression and are attempting to inhibit STAT5 signaling in white blood cells from people with lupus. This may lead to new kinds of treatment for lupus.