SOURCE: Lupus Foundation of America

Lupus Foundation of America

October 29, 2014 09:00 ET

U.S. Department of Defense Announces $3.4 Million to Support Lupus Research

Award Is the Largest Amount Allocated to Lupus Since 2006

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwired - October 29, 2014) - Three grants totaling $3.4 million have been awarded by the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) for lupus research through the DOD's Congressionally Directed Peer Review Medical Research Program. The Lupus Foundation of America was instrumental in having lupus included among the diseases eligible for funding beginning in 2005 and has ensured its inclusion every year since.

The grantees are:

Ziaur Rahman, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Microbiology and Immunology, Penn State University. Dr. Rahman's research will identify the mechanisms by which failure to clear dead cells from the body leads to autoantibody (proteins against one's own tissue) production, possibly resulting in lupus.

Michael P. Cancro, PhD, Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Cancro will study three molecules that are associated with autoimmunity in order to understand how they may either prevent or contribute to the initiation of lupus.

Tyler J. Curiel, MD, MPH, Professor of Medicine/Hematology and Medical Oncology, Department of Medicine, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. Dr. Curiel's research will examine how the interaction between estrogen and the immune system may contribute to the increased risk for lupus in women and will also shed light on novel treatment approaches based on this poorly understood interaction.

"Funding for lupus research through the Department of Defense's Congressionally Directed Peer Review Medical Research Program is critical to understanding the causes of lupus, a complex and cruel disease," said Sandra C. Raymond, President and CEO, Lupus Foundation of America. "We remain committed to ensuring important federal lupus research and programs are fully funded and will continue to speak out on the urgent needs of the 1.5 million Americans who live with this unpredictable and misunderstood disease."

The program has awarded $17.4 million for lupus research since its inception in FY2005.

About Lupus

Lupus is an unpredictable and misunderstood autoimmune disease that ravages different parts of the body. It is difficult to diagnose, hard to live with and a challenge to treat. Lupus is a cruel mystery because it is hidden from view and undefined, has a range of symptoms, strikes without warning, and has no known cause and no known cure. Its health effects can range from a skin rash to a heart attack. Lupus is debilitating and destructive and can be fatal, yet research on lupus remains underfunded relative to diseases of similar scope and devastation. 

About the Lupus Foundation of America

The Lupus Foundation of America is the only national force devoted to solving the mystery of lupus, one of the world's cruelest, most unpredictable and devastating diseases, while giving caring support to those who suffer from its brutal impact. Through a comprehensive program of research, education, and advocacy, the Foundation leads the fight to improve the quality of life for all people affected by lupus. Learn more about the lupus, Lupus Science & Medicine Journal and the Lupus Foundation of America at For the latest news and updates, follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

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