Pioneering Discovery to Prevent, Treat, and Cure Lupus

The LRI is the country’s only nonprofit organization singularly devoted to novel research in lupus.

We champion innovation, scientific creativity, and the highest-caliber science in our relentless hunt for answers on lupus.

We enable investigators to pursue bold yet sound scientific hypotheses in lupus.

And it's working.

Founded and funded by families, shaped by scientists.

What We Fund

  • Novel ideas on why and how lupus happens—and how to stop it. Learn more by choosing a topic from the list at right.
    • Unlike federal agencies and other research organizations, we do not require extensive preliminary data to qualify for a grant.
    • What does matter in the rigorous scientific review: innovation, scientific quality, potential for success. Read about the LRI's Unique Approach
  • Novel research on the biology of human lupus—using human tissue to break through to discoveries directly relevant to humans. Read more

With prevention, new treatments, and a cure the goal, we also:

  • work intensively with industry in moving basic discoveries to clinical trials.
  • take advantage of new cutting-edge technologies in systems biology to rapidly accelerate the pace of lupus discovery—a whole new way of looking at lupus.
    Read more

Research Funded

To date, we've awarded 150 Novel Research grants.

  • Recipients are at 68 academic and medical centers across the nation.
  • More than half of the researchers given $300,000 grants from the LRI to test their innovative hypotheses have such promising findings that they win ongoing funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) or other organizations to continue the work.
  • It’s a stellar return on the investment in lupus discovery.
  • And it keeps lupus research dollars growing at the NIH, where overall dollars are scarce.
  • To date, LRI-generated lupus research multiplied at the NIH and other external sources from $50 million to $150 million. As of 2015, the LRI has delivered more than $200 million in funding to advance only the most novel, innovative studies - see more here.

See a list of LRI Researchers
See most recent LRI Grant Recipients

Solid Results

LRI scientists have made breakthroughs in:

  • Genes that increase susceptibility to lupus
  • How lupus damages organs—kidneys, heart, brain, skin
  • Pathways that enable misguided antibodies to attack
  • Molecules that determine control of the immune system
  • Targets for new treatments
  • Biomarkers for diagnosing, monitoring and treating lupus
  • More

Of the LRI’s $50 million invested so far, millions more have been secured at the NIH and other agencies to expand on the research.

LRI scientists have been successful:

  • in leveraging millions for lupus research. Read more
  • in changing what is known about lupus. Read more

Without the LRI, these findings would very likely not exist.

“The LRI is a catalyst. It brings innovative work to the fore and allows investigators to get the information they need to then command the much larger sums of money that the NIH and the pharmaceutical industry can bring to bear.”

—William E. Paul, MD
NIH Distinguished Investigator
Chair, LRI Scientific Advisory Board