Lupus Foundation of America Announces 2013-2014 National Research Program Grantees

Grants Support Research Efforts to Solve the Cruel Mystery of Lupus

WASHINGTON, Oct. 22, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Lupus Foundation of America, the only national force dedicated to solving the cruel mystery of lupus, just awarded new grants as part of its 2013-2014 National Research Program. The Foundation presents these awards to support promising areas of research where there is a gap in understanding or where there has not been adequate funding. The Foundation is leading the way for research in several key areas, including adult stem cell transplantation, biomarkers, cardiovascular disease, diagnostic criteria, male lupus, lupus nephritis, neuropsychiatric lupus, pediatric lupus, quality of life and skin lupus.

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"The Lupus Foundation of America is pleased to welcome the 2013-2014 grantees into its National Research Program," explains Graciela S. Alarcon, M.D., M.P.H., Emeritus Jane Knight Lowe Chair of Medicine in Rheumatology, University of Alabama, Birmingham and Member of the Lupus Foundation of America Medical-Scientific Advisory Council. "Through this program, we are able to support studies that will expand our understanding of lupus in high priority areas and take us closer to solving the cruel mystery of this debilitating and misunderstood disease that impacts millions of Americans."

Grant award funds for this year will focus on three specific critical areas, including neuropsychiatric lupus, stem cells and quality of life among children and adolescents with lupus. Funded research efforts will begin this month and projects will continue through September 2014.  In evaluating these applicants, the Lupus Foundation of America employs a rigorous, peer-review system that utilizes the same method for review as other major funders of medical research such as National Institutes of Health (NIH).

2013-2014 Foundation National Research Program Grantees include:

Neuropsychiatric Lupus
· Mark W. DiFrancesco, PhD, Assistant Professor of Radiology
Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center (Cincinnati, OH)
"Imaging the Blood-Brain Barrier in Childhood-Onset Neuropsychiatric Lupus"
This grant award is presented in memory of Kassie McMullin Biglow and is made possible in part by funds provided by the Greater Ohio Chapter of the Lupus Foundation of America.

Adult Stem Cells
· Laurence Morel, PhD, Professor and Chair of Experimental Pathology
University of Florida College of Medicine (Gainsville, FL)
"Genetic Regulation of Stem Cell Dysfunction in a Mouse Model of Lupus"
This grant is in honor of The Cooper Family Foundation.

Michael John Barlin Pediatric Lupus Research Program
· Lisabeth V. Scalzi, MD, MS, Associate Professor
Pennsylvania State University Milton S. Hershey Medical Center (Hershey, PA)
"Impact of Social Media and Online Support of Self-Management in Adolescents with SLE"
This is the Lucy Vodden Research Grant Award, which was established in memory of Lucy Vodden by the Lupus Foundation of America and Julian Lennon. This grant is made possible in part by funds provided by the Philadelphia Tri-State Chapter of the Lupus Foundation of America.

Since its inception, the Foundation and its affiliate chapters have provided more than $23 million to support more than 400 grants to research scientists at nearly 100 leading academic and medical institutions nationwide.

Lupus is an unpredictable and misunderstood autoimmune disease that ravages different parts of the body.  It is debilitating and destructive and can be fatal, yet research on lupus has not kept pace with research for other diseases of similar scope and devastation. The Lupus Foundation of America National Research Program aggressively seeks to advance the science and medicine of lupus and improve the quality of life for people with lupus.  For nearly 40 years, research supported by the Lupus Foundation of America has led to expanded understanding of the disease and contributed too many of the lupus-related scientific breakthroughs of the past several decades.  The Foundation is at the forefront of funding lupus research in several key areas, including the first advocacy organization to fund adult stem cell research and the first to put major dollars toward research into cardiovascular disease in lupus.  The Lupus Foundation of America is also the only lupus advocacy organization in the United States with a dedicated childhood lupus research agenda.  For more information about the Foundation's National Research Program, visit www.lupus.org/research.

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 Foundation of America at lupus.org. For the latest news and updates, follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

SOURCE Lupus Foundation of America



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