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Lupus Foundation of America Seeks Proposals for Research Studies on Childhood Lupus and Stem Cell Transplantation
Date:6/22/2009

WASHINGTON, June 22 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Lupus Foundation of America (LFA) is seeking proposals for grant funding for research studies on lupus, an unpredictable and potentially fatal autoimmune disease. Grants will support areas of study in pediatric lupus and adult stem cell transplantation. The purposes of the studies are to advance adult stem cell transplantation research in humans as a treatment for lupus and address key understanding of pediatric/adolescent lupus research issues.

This is the second year of funding for the Michael Jon Barlin Pediatric Lupus Program. There is a special urgency associated with research on pediatric lupus, as lupus in children may develop early and tends to be more severe with multi-organ system involvement. Early and aggressive treatment can have a dramatic, positive impact on disease activity and on the progression of disease. Therefore, new diagnostic and prognostic tests, as well as treatments specifically for children, are more important than ever in addressing this potentially devastating form of lupus.

Stem cells are undifferentiated adult or embryonic cells that give rise to specialized cells, such as blood, bone, heart, etc. While stem cell transplantations are currently being tested and explored in clinics and labs, researchers are only beginning to understand the potential impact and role of adult stem cells in the development and treatment of lupus.

Binding letters of intent must be submitted by July 13, 2009 (extended from July 3). Online applications must be submitted by August 7, 2009. Awards will be announced on September 18, 2009. For additional information, visit the research section of the LFA website at lupus.org.

Although basic science and therapeutic advances are being made, substantial work remains to fully understand the causes, epidemiology, and clinical impact of lupus. The purpose of these grants is to accelerate research related to the causes, treatments, prevention and cure of lupus and to directly sponsor research to test new approaches and develop experimental therapies or treatments. The LFA's national research program, Bringing Down the Barriers, is supported exclusively through donations from the LFA's chapters, private foundations, corporations, and the concerned public.

Lupus is an acute and chronic autoimmune disease in which the immune system is unbalanced, causing inflammation and tissue damage to virtually any organ in the body. Lupus can be unpredictable and potentially fatal, yet no satisfactory treatment or cure exists. An estimated 1.5 million Americans and at least five million people worldwide have a form of lupus. Its health effects include heart attacks, strokes, seizures, miscarriages, and organ failure.

The LFA is the nation's foremost nonprofit voluntary health organization dedicated to finding the causes of and cure for lupus, and providing support, services, and hope to all people affected by lupus. The LFA and its network of nearly 300 chapters, branches, and support groups conduct programs of research, education, and advocacy.


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SOURCE Lupus Foundation of America
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