Leading the way to a cure

For Researchers

Target Identification in Lupus Grants

 Application information will be available in the Winter of 2015

If you have any questions or require any additional information regarding the application process, please contact the ALR’s Research Administration department at 1-212-218-2840, 1-800-867-1743 or by e-mail at research.admin@lupusresearch.org.

Clinical Trials Request for Posting

Corporations, CRO’s and Investigators if you have clinical trials that you would like the ALR to post information on please click here for more information.

Below you will find links to some Clinical Trials that are looking For Researchers, Patients and to share data.

These trials are in no way affiliated with the ALR and are for informational Purposes only.

Efficacy and Safety of Atacicept in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

  • Atacicept is a targeted B-Cell immunomodulator which inhibits APRIL and BLyS effect as well as auto-antibody inhibition. A Phase IIb, Multi-Center, Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Multidose, 24-Week Study to Evaluate the Efficacy and Safety of Atacicept in Subjects With Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE).

Embrace (Efficacy of Belimumab in Lupus Subjects of Black Race)

  • A phase 3/4, Multi-Center, Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, 52 Week Study to Evaluate the Efficacy and Safety of Belimumab in Adult Subjects of Black Race with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus.

Bliss- SC Belimumab International SLE Study – Subcutaneous

  • A Phase 3, Multi-Center, Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, 52-Week Study to Evaluate the Efficacy and Safety of Belimumab (HGS1006) Administered Subcutaneously to Subjects with Systemic Lupus Erythematosis (SLE).

Belimumab (Benlysta) Pregnancy Registry - Prospective Cohort Study of Pregnancy Outcomes following Belimumab Exposure

  • The Belimumab Pregnancy Registry is a global, observational cohort study. It will collect prospective pregnancy outcome data on a voluntary basis in women with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) who have received belimumab (Benlysta). Infant outcomes from babies born to mothers in this Registry will also be evaluated. Registry data will add to the current clinical experience with belimumab and complement reproductive data from animal toxicology studies. This Registry is sponsored by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and managed by Pharmaceutical Product Development (PPD), Inc

Bliss – LN Belimumab International Lupus Nephritis Study

  • A Phase 3, Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study to Evaluate the Efficacy and Safety of Belimumab plus Standard of Care Induction and Maintenance Therapy for Active Lupus Nephritis.

PLUTO – (Pediatric Lupus Trial Of belimumab)

  • A Multi-Center, Randomized Parallel Group, Placebo-Controlled Double-Blind trial to Evaluate the Safety, Efficacy, and Pharmacokinetics of Belimumab, A Human Monoclonal Anti-BLyS Antibody, Plus Standard Therapy in Pediatric Patients with SLE.

SABLE SLE Registry

  • A 5-Year Prospective Observational Registry to Assess Adverse Events of Interest and Effectiveness in Adults with Active, Autoantibody-Positive SLE Treated with or without BENLYSTA (belimumab) (SABLE).

BASE (Belimumab Assessment of Safety in SLE)

  • A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled 52 Week Study to Assess Adverse Events of Special Interest in Adults with Active, Autoantibody-Positive Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Receiving Belimumab.

Mary K. (Peggy) Crow, M.D. (Chair)

Dr. Crow is Physician-in-Chief and Chair of the Department of Medicine at Hospital for Special Surgery and is Chief of the Division of Rheumatology at HSS and NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center. She is also Director of the Autoimmunity and Inflammation Research Program and Co-Director of the Mary Kirkland Center for Lupus Research at HSS. Dr. Crow holds the Benjamin M. Rosen Chair in Immunology and Inflammation Research at HSS and is the Joseph P. Routh Professor of Rheumatic Diseases in Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College.

Dr. Crow leads 66 full-time physicians, including 30 adult and 3 pediatric rheumatologists, who provide outstanding care to patients across the full spectrum of autoimmune and inflammatory rheumatic diseases and deliver perioperative medical care to patients undergoing surgical procedures at HSS. Dr. Crow has established disease-specific Centers of Excellence focused on innovative initiatives in clinical and translational research, patient and professional education, and quality of care.

Dr. Crow’s academic and research career has focused on unraveling the cellular and molecular mechanisms that underlie the systemic autoimmune diseases, with a particular focus on systemic lupus erythematosus and rheumatoid arthritis. She has identified interferon-alpha, an immune system protein typically expressed in the setting of virus infection, as the key pathogenic mediator in lupus. Her laboratory continues to study the molecular pathways that are associated with the clinical manifestations of lupus and the mechanisms that result in disease flares.

In addition to her leadership roles at HSS and NYPH/WCMC, Dr. Crow has served as President of the American College of Rheumatology and as President of the Henry Kunkel Society. She has been honored as an “Arthritis Hero” of the Arthritis Foundation, and in 2010 she received the Margaret D. Smith Lifetime Achievement Award of the Arthritis Foundation, New York Chapter.

Anthony J. Coyle, Ph.D.

Anthony “Tony” Coyle is Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer of the Centers for Therapeutic Innovation (CTI). CTI was established in August 2010 as a new model to drive innovation in BioTherapeutics R & D. Tony is responsible for the CTI sites, which currently include CTI – New York City, CTI- Boston and CTI-California. Tony is supported by his leadership team, which will include the site heads of each CTI, his operations team, project management, clinical and Precision Medicine heads.

Tony brings an extensive knowledge of the full development process to Pfizer. As a former Vice President and Global Head of Respiratory, Inflammation, and Autoimmunity Research at Medimmune Biologics, a Division of AstraZeneca, Tony has succeeded in advancing a biologic portfolio from discovery to Phase Two in the areas of Lupus, Asthma and COPD.

Prior to Medimmune, Tony was Director of Research and Biology at Millennium Pharmaceuticals, where he led a group responsible for the identification of novel target genes as well as for late stage lead optimization and delivery of both small molecule and biologic development candidates.

Tony has been Associate Professor in the Department of Pathology and Experimental Therapeutics at McMaster University in Ontario since 1992, and has authored more than 180 manuscripts. He holds a B.Sc. Honours and a Ph.D. from Kings College, University of London.

Saeed Fatenejad M.D.

Richard Furie, M.D.

Dr. Richard Furie, Chief of the Division of Rheumatology and Allergy-Clinical Immunology at the North Shore LIJ Health System, is a rheumatologist whose activities for the last several decades have focused on patient care, physician education, and clinical research in the area of anti-rheumatic drug development. He directs The Program in Novel Therapeutics, the Health System’s clinical research program in musculoskeletal disease. He also directs the Hospital’s SLE and Autoimmune Disease Treatment Center, which has become internationally recognized for its role in the development of new therapies for SLE. Regarded as one the senior rheumatologists in the New York metropolitan area, he has been on the Boards of Directors of the local chapters of the Arthritis Foundation and the Lupus Alliance of America and is a member of the Medical-Scientific Advisory Council of the Lupus Foundation of America as well as its Lupus News editorial board. He also is on the Medical and Scientific Advisory Board of the SLE Foundation as well as the Alliance for Lupus Research Scientific Advisory Board. Dr. Furie has served on many committees of the American College of Rheumatology, and has recently been appointed to the College’s Board of Directors.

Kenneth Kalunian, M.D.

Dr. Kalunian is a Professor of Medicine in the Division of Rheumatology, Allergy and Immunology at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). Dr. Kalunian is the Associate Director of UCSD’s Center for Innovative Therapy and directs clinical investigation in lupus for the Center including the conduct of industry-sponsored, NIH and foundation-directed, and investigator-initiated clinical trials. Dr. Kalunian is particularly interested in the development of novel therapeutic interventions for lupus including biological agents and small molecules; these include not only the testing of novel approaches to therapy but also the design and validation of outcome instruments for these clinical studies. Other research focuses include the study of epidemiological characteristics of lupus with particular interest in phenotypic subsets and translational and outcome studies that focus on these subsets. Prior to joining the faculty at UCSD in 2003, Dr. Kalunian was on the faculty at UCLA, where he trained in translational and basic science of lupus with particular interest in the pathogenesis of the disease. Dr. Kalunian also started UCLA’s clinical trial program in lupus. Dr. Kalunian is currently the Chair of the Lupus Foundation of America’s Collective Data Analysis Initiative, which is involved in better understanding outcomes of lupus patients in clinical trials using data from multiple industry-sponsored clinical trials. Dr. Kalunian is on the Medical Scientific Advisory Board of the Lupus Foundation of America, is a member of the Lupus Clinical Trials Consortium, is a founding member of the Systemic Lupus International Collaborating Clinics, is a member of the Lupus Nephritis Trials Network and is a member of the UCSD Clinical Translational Research Institute. Dr. Kalunian is a past president of the Southern California Rheumatology Society. Dr. Kalunian is a fellow of the American College of Rheumatology and received his Bachelor’s Degree in Biochemistry from Occidental College, his Medical Degree from St. Louis University, and completed his Internal Medicine and Rheumatology training at UCLA.

Mike McCune, M.D., Ph.D.

Research in the McCune Lab has focused on the definition of pathogenic mechanisms of viral diseases, particularly HIV disease. This focus has spanned a range of fields, from understanding critical structural determinants of infectivity, to devising a small animal model (the SCID-hu Thy/Liv mouse) to study HIV pathogenesis and to prioritize antiretroviral compounds against HIV, to studying mechanisms of T cell depletion and repletion in vivo. Throughout this body of work, he has engaged in hypothesis-driven, patient-oriented research that has involved collaborative teams of basic scientists, translational researchers, and clinicians. Most recently, he has devoted all of his attention to understanding the correlates of protective immunity against HIV, with the specific intent to work with others to eradicate HIV. This change of focus has now been materialized at UCSF by the creation of the Division of Experimental Medicine, of which Dr. McCune is the Chief. From 2005-2008, he served as the PI and Director of the Clinical and Translational Science Institute at UCSF, an organization whose mission is to enhance and to facilitate the process by which better therapies can be brought from the lab bench to the community more quickly. In this capacity, he also served as the Senior Associate Dean of Clinical and Translational Research in the Schools of Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing, and Pharmacy at UCSF.

In the Division of Experimental Medicine, he has established a multidisciplinary, collaborative environment for the analysis of the human immunology of chronic infectious diseases of medical importance, including those caused by HIV, TB, malaria, and helminthic worms. The underlying hypothesis of the Division is that each of these agents has established patterns of interaction with the host which, in most cases, do not lead to overt disease; that these patterns are likely to embrace protective immune responses with mechanistic overlaps; and that elucidation of such common patterns of successful host-pathogen interaction may inform the development of interventions (e.g., vaccines and medicines) to successfully fight HIV.

Jane Salmon, M.D.

Dr. Jane Salmon is Professor of Medicine and Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Weill Cornell Medical College and the Collette Kean Research Professor at Hospital for Special Surgery.

Dr. Salmon graduated magna cum laude from New York University and earned a medical degree in 1978 from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University, where she was the first woman enrolled in their Medical Scientist Training Program. She completed training in internal medicine at The New York Hospital and in rheumatology at Hospital for Special Surgery, and has been an HSS faculty member since 1983. Dr. Salmon has served on the Board of Directors of the American College of Rheumatology and as Councilor of the Clinical Immunology Society. She has served on the NIH Advisory Boards for the North American Rheumatoid Arthritis Consortium and the Lupus Multiplex Registry and was co-editor of Arthritis and Rheumatism. At Hospital for Special Surgery, she is a co-Director of the Mary Kirkland Center for Lupus Research, Director of the SLE APS Center of Excellence, Director of the FOCIS Center of Excellence, and Director of the Lupus Registry and Repository.

Dr. Salmon’s research has focused on elucidating mechanisms of tissue injury in lupus and other autoimmune diseases. Her basic and clinical studies have expanded our understanding of pregnancy loss and organ damage in SLE and the determinants of disease outcome in lupus patients with nephritis, pregnancy, and cardiovascular disease.

George Tsokos, M.D.

Dr. Tsokos received his Medical Degree and a Doctorate in Sciences from the University of Athens. He trained in Internal Medicine at the University of Athens and Georgetown University/VA Medical Center in Washington DC and completed Immunology and Rheumatology Fellowships at the National Institutes of Health. Between 1987 and 2007 he was a member of the Uniformed Services/Walter Reed community where served in various positions including Vice Chair for Research in the Department of Medicine and Chief of the Department of Cell Injury. In 2007 he joined the Beth Israel Medical Center as Chief of Rheumatology and Harvard Medical School as Professor of Medicine.

He has served various leadership positions including President of the Clinical Immunology Society and as member or chair of multiple federal study sections and editorial boards of scientific journals. He has served (or serves) as Consulting Editor of the Journal of Clinical Investigation, Editor of Autoimmunity, Academic Editor of PLOS One and Editor-in-Chief of Clinical Immunology. He has been elected to the Association of American Physicians, Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences and Master of the American College of Physicians.

Dr. Tsokos’ research focuses on the cellular and molecular pathogenesis of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). His laboratory has opened and led the field of molecular abnormalities on immune cells in patients with SLE. He has identified several molecular abnormalities, including aberrant expression of CD3 zeta chain, cAMP response element modulator, calcium-calmodulin kinase IV and protein phosphatase 2A and demonstrated that when their expression is corrected in cells obtained from patients with SLE with either gene transfer or small molecule drugs the effector cell function returns to normal levels. More recently he has constructed a series of novel mice to demonstrate in vivo the importance of the molecules expressed aberrantly in SLE T cells in the expression of autoimmunity and organ damage.

Dr. Tsokos has trained over 100 colleagues many of whom hold senior leadership positions and run independent laboratories and has published more than 450 articles. His research is funded by NIH and DoD grants.

2015 Alliance for Lupus Research Scientific Calendar

View Our special reports on the ACR and other Meetings

  February 1, 2015 2014 Target Identification in Lupus (TIL) Grants Activated  
  February 28, 2015 LuCIN Applications Due  
  March 19, 2015 Lupus Insight Prize Application Due  
  June 24, 2015 Lupus Insight Prize Ceremony  
  October 19-20, 2015 15th Scientific Conference  
  October 19, 2015 Leadership Circle Meeting  
  October 20-21, 2015 Lupus Nephritis FUll Speed Ahead  
  December 2015 Scientific Advisory Board Meeting  

Scientific Meetings

February 27- March 1, 2015 4th Annual Meeting of the Lupus Academy – Rome, Italy
March 12-14, 2015 CORA 2015: Controversies in Rheumatology & Autoimmunity – Sorrento, Italy - Happens every two years
May 8-12, 2015 The American Association of Immunologists – IMMUNOLOGY 2015 – New Orleans, Louisiana
June 10-13, 2015 EULAR Congress 2015 – Rome, Italy
June 24- 27, 2015 Federation of Clinical Immunology Societies 2015 – San Diego, California
July 1-4, 2015 Frontiers in Immunology Research International Conference – Algarve, Portugal
August 21-26, 2016 International Congress of Immunology – Melbourne, Australia - Happens every three years
September 2-6, 2015 11th International Congress on Systemic Lupus Erythematosus 2015- Vienna, Austria
September 6-9, 2015 4th European Congress of Immunology- Vienna, Austria
September 6-9, 2015 17th Asia Pacific League of Associations for Rheumatology Congress– Chennai, India
September 21-24, 2015 2015 International Conference on Rheumatic and Autoimmune Diseases (ICRAD 2015)- Shanghai, China
November 1-3,2015  2015 Partnering for Cures- New York, New York
June 8-12, 2016 EULAR Congress 2016 – London, UK

Special Reports

View Highlights from the ALR's 2013 American College of Rheumatology Annual Scientific Meeting

View highlights from the ALR's 2011 American College of Rheumatology Annual Scientific Meeting

View highlights from the ALR's 2010 American College of Rheumatology Annual Scientific Meeting

View the Lupus Congress 2010 Special Report

Understanding the MoA of Low Dose IL-2 as a Potential Therapy for SLE

Interleukin 2 (IL-2) is one of the immune system’s signaling molecules.  Therapy with low dose IL-2 has proven efficacious and safe in two diseases similar to lupus: chronic graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) and hepatitis C virus  (HCV) vasculitis.  The therapy achieves both expansion of regulatory T cells (Tregs) and diminished levels of pro-inflammatory chemicals (ctyokines) in the blood of treated persons, and has been found to be safe. Tregs are able to suppress aberrant pathological immune responses and so guide the immune system not to attack healthy tissue.  The mechanism of action of low dose IL-2 has not yet been fully elucidated, while it is known that this mechanism of action is related to the presence on Tregs of a specific receptor (the high affinity IL-2 receptor). The presence of this receptor permits the preferential activation of this subset of regulatory T cells (Tregs)  without activation of T helper cells.  Will therapy with low dose Il-2, or a related approach, prove to be effective in lupus patients? 

What this means for people with lupus:  Dr. Fathman’s current project seeks to elucidate the mechanism of action underlying the use of low dose IL-2 as a therapy, and to determine whether signaling cascades similar to those described can be activated in T regs derived from lupus patients.  In addition, he will search for complementary therapies that could, along with low dose IL-2, lead to the restoration of Treg function in lupus patients.