March 13, 2013

Lupus Research Institute Calls for Strengthened NIH Funding
at Federal Appropriations Hearing

The Lupus Research Institute (LRI) was a star witness for the lupus community at the Fiscal 2014 Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services,  Education and Related Agencies Public Witness Hearing.

Renowned lupus thought leader Dr. Richard Furie (pictured left) of New York’s North Shore-LIJ Health System testified for the LRI. He spoke eloquently on the need for an increase in budget allocations to sustain biomedical research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to promote scientific innovation and to provide lupus patients with desperately needed treatments and a cure.  

Dr. Furie painted a stark but realistic picture to illustrate how lupus can destroy lives. He asked the Subcommittee to imagine a disease with no known cause or cure that is a leading cause of heart attack, stroke and kidney disease among young women. He went on to describe lupus as a disease that strikes without warning, strikes at random, attacking virtually any human organ and tissue. 

“During the course of my career, approximately 100 of my lupus patients have died, and countless have had strokes or have gone on to kidney failure and required dialysis,” Dr. Furie commented. "I could fill the entire day with heartbreaking stories. Our goal is to cure this disease so there are no more stories." 

His powerful case for the need to increase NIH research funding rested on three critical points:

  • We must develop new methodologies to improve diagnosis and treatment and reduce health disparities among those hit hardest by lupus — young women of color.
  • As the prototypical autoimmune disease, answers to lupus can help provide solutions to the 100+ other autoimmune diseases that affect one out of every five Americans.
  • Sustained, dependable, long-term growth in NIH-funded medical research brings the promise of new knowledge and technologies in pursuit of cures for patients. Investments in NIH also maintain and create jobs, fuel innovation and ultimately lead to a healthier nation with savings to the healthcare system.

Please visit our website to read Dr. Furie’s full written testimony.

LRI: Closing in on the Cause, Going for the Cure

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About the LRI
The world’s leading private supporter of innovative research in lupus, the LRI champions scientific risk-taking in the hunt for solutions to this complex and dangerous autoimmune disease. To make a donation, visit

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