National Institutes of Health
Conducting groundbreaking research into every aspect of lupus
The mission of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is to develop the knowledge needed to prevent, detect, diagnose, and treat disease, illness, and disability. NIH employs some of the world’s most accomplished scientists in is laboratories. And in the field, NIH supports the research and professional development of non-federal scientists working in universities, medical schools, and hospitals in the U.S. and around the globe.
The NIH's involvement in lupus research has spurred some of the most important medical breakthroughs in the field, and they are one of our most valuable partners in the fight against this disease.
In the last 5 years, NIH has committed over half a billion dollars to lupus research.
Within NIH, as many as 16 of their 27 institutes are involved in studying lupus.
The importance of public-private partnerships
In July 2018, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) at NIH announced that it would co-fund a major study to evaluate a type of stem cell as treatment for moderate to severe lupus. In addition to the $3.8 million the Lupus Foundation of America is providing for the study, NIAID will contribute $720,000 in the first year of its five-year commitment to the study.
Our collaboration with NIAID demonstrates the growing importance of public-private partnerships involving government, nonprofit, and research organizations to deepen our understanding of the causes of lupus and discover new treatments. It also shows how important it is that NIH be well funded each year, allowing the agency to initiate more collaborations like this one.
Congressional funding for NIH
Congress is responsible for funding NIH each year. But Congress does not allocate funding to specific disease areas – it provides a lump sum of money, and NIH decides how best to spend it.
For fiscal year 2020, we successfully advocated for $41.7 billion for NIH, a $2.6 billion increase over the previous fiscal year. Of that, it’s estimated that $110 million will be committed to lupus research.
We believe that, relative to the more than 1.5 million Americans living with lupus, the disease remains underfunded. We will continue to urge Congress to increase its funding for NIH, which would enable the agency to devote more money to lupus research. And we will continue participating in the Lupus Federal Working Group, which coordinates the efforts of the federal agencies involved in lupus research to maximize the impact of every federal dollar.
How our advocacy supports the National Institutes of Health
A robustly funded NIH is a necessity in the fight against lupus. Thanks to Congress, NIH is the largest public funder of lupus research in the world today. But each year, the Foundation and our advocates must make the case to members of Congress that lupus research at NIH is vital to understanding and treating the disease. And year after year, we’ve done that, generating more than $615 million for lupus research in the last five years.
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