Volume 2, 2010 - Online Edition | In This Issue
The Next Phase in Advancing Genetic Science >
Brilliant Minds Search for Answers >
Uncovering New Paths to Treatment for Lupus Nephritis >
Faces of Lupus: A Volunteer Who has it All >
Lupus Experts Convene at International Congress >
Lupus News Corner >
The Next Phase in Advancing Genetic Science
The world of scientific inquiry is rapidly broadening our knowledge of diseases like lupus. Much has changed since 1953 when the discovery of the double helix — or twisted-ladder structure — of DNA was discovered. Today, the burgeoning field of human genome science is revealing vast new information about the body, transforming clinical practice, and offering new hope in treatments.
Just three years ago, an ALR-funded investigation — the International SLE Genetics (SLEGEN) Consortium — greatly sped up the research process by identifying 13 genes as possible markers for developing lupus. Since this revolutionary breakthrough, we have discovered five additional markers — while we have been funding talented researchers to build on these genetic findings with the creation of the ALR’s new Functional Genomics and Molecular Genetic Pathways Grants.
This year’s selected grantees (see full listing on page 3) will receive research grants of up to $350,000 for two years or pilot grants of up to $75,000 for one year. The focus of their work will be to determine how the genes identified by SLEGEN may have a role in the disease and provide further information about the molecular pathways modulated by these genes.
The realistic hope is that their findings will reveal the critical role that genetic variants play in predisposing an individual to developing lupus. Ultimately, our aim is to discover a way to “turn off” the disease at the genetic level.