Inez Rogatsky, PhD

Hospital for Special Surgery, New York, NY

2005 New Treatments

Inez Rogatsky, PhDAt some point, most people with lupus take powerful anti-inflammatory glucocorticoid drugs, such as prednisone. But while they are quite effective and in some cases even life-saving in halting the disease process and relieving certain symptoms, glucocorticoids can cause devastating side effects, especially when taken in large amounts or for long periods of time.

Dr. Rogatsky was new to the study of lupus when she was awarded an LRI Novel Research Grant in 2005, to explore the possibility that glucocorticoids work in an entirely different way than previously thought: by interfering with a protein that otherwise promotes the production of interferon.

By understanding the drug’s mechanism of action, there is now hope that more selective and less toxic glucocorticoid-like drugs might be developed.

Dr. Rogatsky’s research, in mice and mouse white blood cells, was not only productive but successful in securing extended funding from the NIH.

Select publications:

GRIP1-associated SET-domain methyltransferase in glucocorticoid receptor target gene expression. Chinenov Y, Sacta MA, Cruz AR, Rogatsky I. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2008 Dec 23;105(51):20185-90. Epub 2008 Dec 11.

RNA polymerase II stalling mediates cytokine gene expression. Adelman K. and Rogatsky I. Cell Cycle 9(4): 630-1 2010.

Ongoing funding:

Dr. Rogatsky won a $1.125 million NIH grant in 2006 to continue this work and extend it to in vivo models.

In 2008, Dr. Rogatsky also won a Kirkland Center Research Grants for $60,000 to continue the research that she began with the LRI. She explained that “our work funded by the LRI demonstrated that transcriptional regulation of the IFNb and other IRF3 target genes was dramatically downregulated by glucocorticoids. Unexpectedly we found that IFN signaling pathway itself, subsequent to its production, was also glucocorticoid-sensitive which became the basis of the proposal currently funded in part by the Mary Kirkland Lupus Research Grant.”

Rev. July 2010