October 15, 2010

LFA Awards New Grants to Fund Critical Areas of Lupus Research

The Lupus Foundation of America addresses the gaps in understanding of pediatric lupus, neuropsychiatric lupus, lupus nephritis, and reproductive health Issues.

The Lupus Foundation of America, Inc. (LFA) announced the awarding of six new research grants to address gaps in the science and understanding of key areas of lupus research, including pediatric lupus, reproductive health issues in people with lupus, lupus nephritis (kidney involvement), and neuropsychiatric lupus, which affects the brain and nervous system. Advancements in these areas of lupus research are crucial to improving a patient’s quality of life, yet remain poorly understood, and have been inadequately funded by the federal government, industry, and other organizations.

“The research funded this year tackles some of the most complex and challenging areas of lupus research,” said Sandra C. Raymond, President and CEO of the Lupus Foundation of America. “Issues related to reproductive health, the kidneys, and the nervous system affect so many of those living with lupus, yet these areas of research have suffered from a lack of resources, and in some cases have seen little advancement.”

Areas of study supported by Lupus Foundation of America’s (LFA) National Research Program have included epidemiology, biomarkers, cardiovascular disease, and adult stem cell transplantation. A key area of funding this year is reproductive health issues in people with lupus, which can affect both men and women. Reproductive health issues can include miscarriages, pre-term birth, and complications such as preeclampsia. There also is a need to develop programs to educate doctors and patients on issues related to the treatment of lupus during pregnancy, a better understanding of the risk factors for pregnancy-related complications and miscarriages, and the impact on the development of the fetus.

The LFA’s National Research Program is dedicated to Bringing Down the Barriers that have obstructed basic biomedical, clinical, epidemiological, behavioral, and translational lupus research for decades. The LFA’s National Research Program is unique because it directs LFA funding to areas of research where gaps exist in the understanding of lupus and promising areas of study in which other public and private organizations have not focused their efforts.

Using a national three-pronged strategy, the LFA and its national network are committed to advancing the science and medicine of lupus by: funding investigators through a peer-reviewed grant program; directly conducting special research initiatives; and advocating for increased investment by federal and state governments, as well as the nation's pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. For more information about the LFA’s National Research program, visit www.lupus.org/research.

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