WASHINGTON, May 15, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Lupus Foundation of America announced today that the Foundation is seeking grant applications to provide critical funding that will, for the first time, address an unmet need in pediatric lupus nephritis. The new grant will provide research funds in the amount of $500,000 over five years to develop a novel panel of lupus nephritis biomarkers in children that will facilitate the development of a real-time, non-invasive diagnostic tool for pediatric lupus nephritis, allowing for more targeted treatment decisions and more personalized care. The grant is provided on behalf of the Foundation's Michael Jon Barlin Pediatric Research Program, which was established in 2006 with the generous support of the Wallace H. Coulter Foundation.
Lupus-related kidney inflammation, one of the most prominent and serious complications of lupus, is known as lupus nephritis. Up to 80 percent of children and adolescents with lupus will develop lupus nephritis which, if not adequately controlled, can lead to kidney failure, the need for chronic dialysis or kidney transplantation, and even death. Up to 40 percent of children with lupus nephritis develop end-stage renal disease -- permanent failure of the kidneys.
"Given the severity of the disease, lupus nephritis warrants close medical monitoring and there is a dire need to develop and validate tools that have the potential to monitor, stratify and predict outcomes for children and adolescents living with the disease and in whom lupus nephritis occurs quite frequently," explains Graciela S. Alarcón, MD, MPH, Chair Medical-Scientific Advisory Council (MSAC) Research Committee, Lupus Foundation of America. "Traditional measures used to monitor lupus nephritis are unable to determine disease activity and progression or predict flares while the patient is in the doctor's office, delaying crucial decisions that must be made. The Foundation's pediatric lupus nephritis biomarker panel research could allow for better targeted treatment decisions and more personalized care, which ultimately would improve the quality of life of the thousands of children living with this disease."
Lupus investigators who are interested in this grant opportunity may obtain more information and links to the online application at lupus.org/rfa. Binding letters of intent must be submitted online by May 30, 2014. Online applications must be submitted by June 30, 2014. The Foundation uses an electronic grant submission process and all interested grant applicants should submit their letters of intent and proposals via proposalCENTRAL at https://proposalcentral.altum.com/default.asp.
About the Lupus Foundation of America Peer Reviewed Research Program
The Lupus Foundation of America is dedicated to addressing scientific issues that have obstructed basic, clinical, epidemiological, behavioral and translational lupus research for decades. Our research grant program focuses its support in areas of research where significant gaps in scientific knowledge about lupus exist, and where other public and private organizations are not focusing their efforts. The program supports growth in the field during a time when federal government funding opportunities are limited. Through our peer reviewed lupus research program, the Foundation directly funds lupus investigators to conduct studies in areas identified by our Medical-Scientific Advisory Council (MSAC).
The Foundation is the only national organization to launch the first-ever pediatric lupus research program through its Michael Jon Barlin Pediatric Research Program, which was established in 2006 with the generous support of the Wallace H. Coulter Foundation. Over the years, the research funded through this program has allowed for significant headway in helping to advance the science and understanding of pediatric lupus.
Lupus is an unpredictable and misunderstood autoimmune disease that ravages different parts of the body. It is difficult to diagnose, hard to live with and a challenge to treat. Lupus is a cruel mystery because it is hidden from view and undefined, has a range of symptoms, strikes without warning, and has no known cause and no known cure. Its health effects can range from a skin rash to a heart attack. Lupus is debilitating and destructive and can be fatal, yet research on lupus remains underfunded relative to diseases of similar scope and devastation.
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 lupus, the Lupus Science & Medicine Journal and 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