Lupus Research Institute and the S.L.E. Lupus Foundation Address Global Treatment Issues for World Lupus Awareness Day

May 10, 2013, 10:23 ET from Lupus Research Institute from ,S.L.E. Lupus Foundation

NEW YORK, May 10, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Affecting millions worldwide, lupus does not recognize national boundaries. For World Lupus Awareness Day 2013, the Lupus Research Institute (LRI) and the S.L.E. Lupus Foundation shine new light on lupus, addressing global issues impacting researchers, healthcare providers, and patients throughout the world.

Closing in on the Cause, Going for the Cure with First-ever $1 Million Awards from Private Sector
Timing is everything – this World Lupus Awareness Day, the LRI invites scientists around the globe to take up a million dollar challenge: apply for $1 million Distinguished Innovator research awards to find the basic causes of lupus that can drive to a cure.  The LRI initiated the Distinguished Innovator award program to marshal the world's most brilliant scientific minds and cutting-edge technical expertise to answer the most critical questions in lupus. 

"The drive to discover the fundamental causes of lupus is a formidable charge, but essential and now within reach," noted Margaret Dowd, LRI President and CEO. "Building on a decade of pivotal advances in lupus research, we are closing in on the cause and going for the cure. That is why we are raising the stakes by providing the first $1 million privately funded grants for scientific study in lupus."

Sponsoring First International Nephritis Conference
The LRI continues its pursuit to prevent and treat lupus nephritis (kidney damage), one of the most common and serious complications of the disease. The LRI is sponsoring the launch on May 22 in New York City of the new international Lupus Nephritis Trial Network (LNTN). This global network of world-leading investigators was formed to derive standardized measurements for testing new medicines in the search for safer and more effective treatments for kidney damage caused by lupus.

Lighting up Lupus to Accelerate Diagnosis and Treatment
To galvanize universal public attention to this often overlooked and misdiagnosed disease, the LRI put lupus up in lights today at the crossroads of the world – Manhattan's Times Square. Thousands streaming through the most heavily trafficked section of New York City learned about lupus as they stopped for a spontaneous flash mob dance performance and exhibit.

"Because lupus can mimic many diseases, it can go undiagnosed and untreated for years," noted Ms. Dowd. "Prompt diagnosis must start with a public aware of the disease and alert to its common signs. Today we are shining a light on the disease to urge people to ask their healthcare provider if their symptoms could be lupus."

About Lupus
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), or lupus, is a chronic, complex and serious autoimmune disease affecting more than 1.5 million Americans. In lupus, the immune system, which is designed to protect against infection, creates antibodies that attack the body's own tissues and organs -- the kidneys, brain, heart, lungs, blood, skin, and joints. Lupus is difficult to diagnose, difficult to treat, and a leading cause of premature cardiovascular disease, kidney disease and stroke among young women.

About the S.L.E. Lupus Foundation
Formed over 40 years ago, the S.L.E. Lupus Foundation leads the nation in providing direct patient services, education, public awareness, as well as funding for innovative lupus research on the national level. The S.L.E. Lupus Foundation is a member of the Lupus Research Institute National Coalition of patient groups throughout the country.

About the Lupus Research Institute
The Lupus Research Institute (LRI), the world's leading private supporter of innovative research, pioneers discovery and champions scientific creativity to find solutions to lupus. The LRI's advocacy arm is its National Patient Coalition, a powerful network of state and local lupus organizations in large urban centers of the country that unite to prevent, treat and cure lupus by advocating for lupus on Capitol Hill.

SOURCE Lupus Research Institute; S.L.E. Lupus Foundation