Funding for Lupus Discoveries Tops $70 Million

Innovative ideas keep winning new support at the NIH

Despite tough economic times, the LRI model of backing bold ideas in lupus is going strong and proving successful at securing even larger long-term funding.

Last Fall it was $60 million that LRI researchers had leveraged at the NIH and other organizations to continue their innovative lupus research. Now it’s $10 million more—$70 million—from the $26 million that the families and friends of people with lupus who founded the LRI have put in to finding ways to prevent, treat, and cure this complex disease. And it’s a leverage figure likely to rise even more, as many of the investigators are not even half way through their 3-year grants!

Building Momentum

Part of the recent $10 million is going to LRI researcher Marcus Clark, MD, at the University of Chicago.

He recently got the news that the NIH had selected the university’s Gwen Knapp Center for Lupus and Immunology Research, which he co-directs, as an “Autoimmunity Center of Excellence.” The $4.2 million will help Dr. Clark and his team to dig deeper in to solutions to lupus. More

New funding is also keeping alive the innovative work of Thereza Imanishi-Kari, PhD, at the Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston, whose LRI grant ended this year.

Now with $300,000 from the NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, she will be able to continue mining her data on why the lupus immune system makes a basic mistake and fails to recognize its real enemies, turning on the body it is supposed to defend. More

And at the beginning of this month, Jochen Mattner, MD, at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center will start getting payments from his 5-year, $1.875 million NIH grant to further explore the novel hypothesis that he first examined with LRI support.

Dr. Mattner’s idea: that certain bacterial or viral infections might elicit strong immune responses that in turn prompt autoimmune illnesses such as lupus. With compelling evidence in hand, he’ll now see if straightforward antibiotic treatments can prevent or halt the autoimmune process in genetically susceptible individuals. More

Others Who’ve Recently Won Funding:

Chau-Ching Liu, MD, PhD, at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine has won an NIH grant of $1.2 million to continue the research that she began with us.

Inez Rogatsky, PhD, at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York has won a Kirkland Center Research Grant for $60,000 to continue the research that she began with us.

A trio of LRI researchers—Martin Weigert, PhD, at the University of Chicago, Zhixin Zhang, PhD, at the University of Nebraska in Omaha, and Marko A. Radic, PhD, at the University of Tennessee—has secured a $600,000 grant from the Dana Foundation to continue work initiated through collaborations with us.