Oct. 26, 2012

Lupus Foundation of America to Fund Studies That Address Gaps in Lupus Research

Grants Given to Researchers Conducting Studies that Advance Science and Medicine of Lupus

WASHINGTON--A mobile application that could help young people manage their lupus is among five groundbreaking research projects that will receive grants from the Lupus Foundation of America. Researchers working in the areas of central or peripheral nervous system disorders in lupus, lupus that impacts the skin, adult stem cell research, and lupus kidney disease in children will also receive awards.

The 2012 -2013 grants are awarded under the Lupus Foundation of America’s National Research Program: Bringing Down the Barriers™. The program has so far awarded over $23 million to more than 400 lupus researchers at nearly 100 leading U.S. academic and medical institutions.

The grants aim to fill gaps in lupus research and are awarded to researchers conducting studies that are critically important in advancing the science and medicine of lupus.

The 2012-13 Lupus Foundation of America National Research Program grantees are:

Pediatric Lupus Quality of Life Research Grant (For research that impacts disease management in children)
Miriam Kaufman, M.D.

Hospital for Sick Children
Toronto Ontario, Canada
“Creation of a Mobile Application to Support Self-Management”
This is the Lucy Vodden Research Grant Award, established by the Lupus Foundation of America and Julian Lennon. This research aims to develop a mobile application to help young people with lupus to manage their own care, improve tracking of symptoms, and improve the quality of communications with their treating team.

Neuropsychiatric Lupus Grant Award (For research on manifestations of lupus within central or peripheral nervous system)
Joseph M. Ahearn, M.D.

Chief Scientific Officer and Vice President
Allegheny-Singer Research Institute
Pittsburgh, PA
“Mechanistic Role for PC4d in the Pathogenesis of Stroke in Lupus”
This grant award is presented in memory of Kassie McMullin Biglow and is made possible in part by funds provided by the Philadelphia Tri-State Chapter of the Lupus Foundation of America. This research aims to determine how platelets (blood cells involved in clotting) bound with an abnormal protein, C4d, contribute to an increased risk of stroke in people with lupus.

Cutaneous Lupus Grant Award (For research on lupus that impacts the skin)
Vicky R. Kelley, Ph.D.

Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Inc.
Boston, MA
“Aberrant Macrophages: Pivotal in Discoid Lupus”
This grant award is provided through a trust created in memory of Stephen and Catherine Pida. This research aims to develop and test a clinically-relevant animal model of sunlight-induced discoid lupus erythematosus, a form of cutaneous lupus.

Stem Cell Research Grant Award
Carol F. Webb, Ph.D.

Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
“The Role of ARID3a Expression in Hematopoietic Stem Cells in SLE Patients”
This grant award is named in honor of The Cooper Family Foundation and is made possible in part by funds provided by the Oklahoma Chapter of the Lupus Foundation of America. This research aims to determine if people with lupus who over-express a protein called ARID3a are less likely to benefit from adult blood stem cell treatments than those patients who have normal levels of ARID3a.

Michael Jon Barlin Pediatric Lupus Research Program
Pediatric Lupus Nephritis Grant Award (For research related to lupus kidney disease in children)
Stacy P. Ardoin, M.D., M.H.S.

Assistant Professor
The Ohio State University
Columbus, OH
“Micro RNA in Pediatric Lupus Nephritis”
This grant award is made possible in part by funds provided by The Louis Berkowitz Family Foundation and from the Greater Ohio Chapter of the Lupus Foundation of America. This research aims to determine whether levels of microRNA in the urine can indicate lupus nephritis-related disease activity and damage in the kidneys of children with lupus.