Department of Defense Announces 10 New Lupus Research Program Awardees
UPDATE: On March 18, the Department of Defense released funding opportunities for fiscal year 2021 through their Lupus Research Program.
Earlier today, the Department of Defense (DOD) announced the awarding of nearly $10 million to 10 innovative research projects through its Lupus Research Program.
The latest round of awardees represents the fourth round of grants the DOD has offered through their Lupus Research Program, which was established in 2017 in response to advocacy efforts led by the Lupus Foundation of America and its advocates.
The Department of Defense has committed more than $56 million to lupus research, including $35 million through the Lupus Research Program.
The research funded by the DOD is advancing the field and will lead to breakthroughs in identifying the causes of lupus, accelerating diagnosis, and developing new medicines to prevent and treat the disease.
Newly Funded Research Programs
In 2020, the Lupus Research Program offered three funding award mechanisms – Idea Awards, Impact Awards, and the Transformative Vision Award.
As in the program's first three years, the response to the DOD’s call for applications for the Lupus Research Program was overwhelming. After releasing a call for applications in April of 2020, DOD received 68 high-quality applications that were then subjected to a multi-layer peer-review process.
In total, 10 applications will receive funding – 1 Idea Award, 8 Impact Awards, and 1 Transformative Vision Award.
|Sladjana Skopelja-Gardner||Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center||Idea Award|
|Anca Askanase||Columbia University Medical Center||Impact Award|
|Anne Davidson||Feinstein Institute for Medical Research||Impact Award|
|Robert Brodsky||Johns Hopkins University||Impact Award|
|Maria Kontaridis||Masonic Medical Research Laboratory||Impact Award|
|Julie Zikherman||University of California, San Francisco||Impact Award|
|Chandra Mohan||University of Houston||Impact Award|
|Zaida Ramirez-Ortiz||University of Massachusetts Medical School||Impact Award|
|Vikki Abrahams||Yale University||Impact Award|
|Patricia Katz||University of California, San Francisco||Transformative Vision Award|
In addition to advocating for funding, the Lupus Foundation of America is represented on the Lupus Research Program’s programmatic panel, which sets the direction for the Program and helps to make funding decisions. In addition, several people living with lupus, nominated by the Foundation, serve as consumer reviewers for the Lupus Research Program, bringing their vital perspectives to the review of the research applications.
Advocacy for the Lupus Research Program
With the latest round of awardees, the Lupus Research Program at the Department of Defense has now funded 48 innovative lupus research programs, and that number is expected to grow significantly in coming years thanks to the strength, passion, and dedication of lupus advocates.
Year after year, lupus advocates tell the lupus story to their members of Congress and urge them to support lupus research and education programs, including the Lupus Research Program.
Last year, lupus advocates successfully urged Congress to double funding for the Lupus Research Program to $10 million, which will be awarded in early 2021.
Without the passion, commitment, and determination of lupus advocates, none of this would have been possible. To be a part of the next success story, sign up as an advocate.