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Lupus Research Institute Awards $3.6 Million for Novel Studies Driving Wide-Ranging New Science in Lupus
Date:2/15/2012

nside cells. We are testing whether sun exposure releases Ro60-RNA complexes that interact with the antibodies to cause skin rashes. Our findings could reveal a new pathway and novel drug targets for lupus of the skin."

Origins of Lupus Autoimmunity

The fundamental causes of lupus remain unknown. Investigators new to lupus bring novel ideas on possible culprits.

  • Dr. Harmit Malik, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center: "Could a lost evolutionary arms race cause lupus autoimmunity? We're exploring if autoimmunity results from the evolutionary escape of ancient parasitic genes from defense mechanisms that control them, which could provide a new model for understanding what causes lupus."
  • Dr. Matthias Wabl, University of California, San Francisco: "Given lupus patients' increased risk of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, we're asking whether their fundamental causes might be similar. We're exploring whether autoreactive B cells can multiply because of retroviruses disrupting critical control genes (as can happen in cancer). If correct, preventing lupus in susceptible individuals may be possible with anti-retroviral drugs, like those for HIV."
  • Dr. Yufeng Peng, University of Washington: "Is a breakdown in the body's housecleaning to blame for the lupus immune system's self-attack?  By revealing how dying cells not cleared effectively may trigger immune cells to attack those cells' DNA and proteins, we could discover potential targets for interventions."

Exploring New Treatment Strategies

Two investigators will use animal models to test highly original ideas on curbing the lupus immune system.

  • Dr. Yousang Gwack, University of California, Los Angeles: "Elevation of intracellular calcium concentration is essentia
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SOURCE Lupus Research Institute
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3. Human Genome Sciences to Host July 20 Conference Call to Discuss Top-Line Phase 3 Results for Benlysta(TM) (Formerly Lymphostat-B(R)) in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
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