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Lupus Research Update: 2008 Volume 4

Volume 4, 2008 - Online Edition | In This Issue


Message From The President >
ALR Leadership Paves Way For Research Breakthroughs >
Success! Congress Passes Department of Defense Funding for Lupus Research >
Lupus Research Progress: Meet Dr. Anselm Hennis / Meet Dr. Anne Davidson >
The Faces of Lupus – Francine Katz: 2008 ALR Volunteer of the Year >
The Faces of Lupus – Angela Barmby Greenberg: 2008 ALR Quest for a Cure Award >
2008 Events Highlights >
Successful 2008 ALR National Volunteer Meeting and Advocacy Day >
Celebrating ALR Volunteers at the Working Together For A Cure National Awards Dinner >
ALR Top Walkers, Teams & Corporate Sponsors >

ALR Leadership Paves Way for Research Breakthroughs

The lupus research community had a groundbreaking year in 2008, thanks in large part to the Alliance for Lupus Research (ALR). The graph to the left shows how dramatically the ALR has increased research funding over the past eight years. That includes this year's record breaking nearly $7 million in grant funding.

A record breaking yearA highlight of the year was the release in January of data from the International SLE Genetics Consortium (SLEGEN). As you know, the Alliance for Lupus Research (ALR) launched the SLEGEN initiative in 2005. An initial ALR grant of $2.5 million allowed researchers to pool their resources, collaborate with each other and focus their attention on finding the genes responsible for this deadly disease.

By combining their efforts, the researchers identified 13 genes that are closely linked to lupus. This discovery opened up many opportunities for continuing research into the ways these gene variants work that will lead to the development of potential new treatments for lupus.

"The publication of the SLEGEN data represented a tremendous stimulus," says Dr. Mary Crow, ALR's Scientific Advisory Board Chair. "Investigators can now move ahead to do more work to understand how the gene variants work in terms of altering cell function in relation to lupus." The ALR's new Functional Genomics and Molecular Genetic Pathways in SLE grants are designed to help researchers move forward from knowledge gained from initial SLEGEN findings.

The ALR has been a leader in funding groundbreaking research for many years. In addition to the SLEGEN data, the ALR has also played a significant role in driving research in other key areas. For example ALR-supported research into the role of interferon alpha in lupus has enabled biotech and pharmaceutical companies to begin working on developing possible treatments. Treatments based on ALR-funded research into the relationship between B cells and lupus are also in development.

"The ALR has played a very significant role in driving research in these areas," says Dr. Crow.

"ALR funding has stimulated research and investigations that are rapidly leading to possible treatments."


1.5 million

people in the U.S. have Lupus.

90 million

dollars committed to lupus research by the Alliance for Lupus Research.


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