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Our Childhood Lupus Research Program

The Michael Jon Barlin Pediatric Lupus Research Program

We take a strategic approach to investigating lupus in children by calling on some of the greatest minds in the field to address the most urgent challenges in this area of medicine. 

In 2006, we established the Michael Jon Barlin Pediatric Lupus Research Program with the generous support of the Wallace H. Coulter Foundation. The program is founded in memory of Michael Jon Barlin, who passed away at the age of 24 following a long battle with lupus.  

In 2010, the program was expanded to include the Lucy Vodden Research Grant Award established by LFA and a generous gift from Julian Lennon.

This program supports discoveries in childhood lupus research for:

  • Cognitive dysfunction in children with SLE
  • Genetics of anxiety and depression in people living with SLE
  • Fertility goals and concerns of people with childhood-onset SLE
  • Proteogenomic profiling of kidney biopsies from children with lupus nephritis using genetic sequencing techniques
  • Lupus kidney disease
  • Neurological or psychological conditions that develop in people with lupus (referred to as neuropsychiatric lupus)
  • Health-related quality of life
  • Development of drugs to specifically for children with lupus
Solving the Unique Challenges of Childhood Lupus
Headshot: Dr. Emily Von Sheven
What's happening in the field of pediatric lupus is that basically, we're getting better at treating children – although, it's quite a challenge still. What we're seeing as they grow up into adulthood is that they're developing a lot of secondary complications.
Dr. Emily Von Scheven, Pediatric Rheumatologist at UCSF
Read her story