More than $9.5 Million Awarded by the DoD to Lupus Researchers Since 2005
WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- The Lupus Foundation of America, Inc. (LFA) congratulates John Harley, M.D., Ph.D., Director of Rheumatology, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, who has received a $1.1 million research grant from the U.S. Department of Defense’s (DoD) Congressionally Directed Peer Reviewed Medical Research Program (PRMRP). The DoD award will fund a study that will examine the genomes of African Americans to identify which genes put an individual at increased risk for lupus. African Americans and other minorities are two to three times more susceptible to lupus, a health disparity that remains unexplained. As many as 20,000 active duty soldiers and veterans are being treated for lupus through TRICARE or the Veteran’s Administration health care system.
“African Americans with lupus are impacted at an earlier age and experience greater disease severity,” said Sandra C. Raymond, President and CEO of the Lupus Foundation of America. “This study will address the urgent need to increase our understanding of the causes and pathogenesis of lupus that place military personnel and others at risk for lupus. The LFA sincerely congratulates Dr. Harley.”
Through its advocacy initiatives that began in 2003, the LFA pioneered efforts to have lupus included among the disease areas eligible for research funding through the PRMRP. The LFA made a persuasive case to DoD officials that described the relevance of lupus research to military personnel and their dependents. These efforts have opened a new source of much needed funds to support research on lupus. Since including lupus and lupus biomarkers among the areas approved for funding, the PRMRP has awarded nine grants totaling more than $9.5 million in new funding to support important studies.
Funding for lupus research through the DoD and all other relevant federal agencies has been a long-recognized priority for LFA advocacy efforts. The LFA recognized this emerging health issue and worked to have lupus included in the PRMRP to advance research on lupus, which will ultimately benefit all families affected by lupus. To learn more, visit the DoD’s Congressionally Directed Peer Reviewed Medical Research Program’s website at http://cdmrp.army.mil/prmrp/.
Lupus is an acute and chronic autoimmune disease in which the immune system is out of balance, causing inflammation and tissue damage to virtually any organ in the body. Lupus can be unpredictable and potentially fatal, yet at present 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.
About the LFA
The LFA is the foremost national nonprofit 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 national network of chapters, branches, and support groups conduct programs of research, education, and advocacy. For more information, visit www.lupus.org.
Lupus Foundation of America (LFA)
Maggie Maloney, 202-212-6766
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