"Using the same technology, we have found that a different immune system protein, type I interferon, is over-produced in lupus patients and this funding will allow us to continue to characterize the role that type I interferon plays in lupus disease progression," explains Dr. Banchereau. We are currently in collaboration with a biotech company to develop a blocker for type I interferon. The goal is to control the symptom flares that are common to lupus patients by shutting off the signal that causes them.
Recently Dr. Pascual was selected as the recipient of the Kirkland Scholar Award in recognition of her work in the field of lupus. This award is given to nationally-recognized scientists who study lupus. The Kirkland Scholar Award is administered by the Mary Kirkland Center for Lupus Research at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York and supported by Rheuminations, Inc. It provides $60,000 a year for three years to support lupus research. Dr. Pascual was officially awarded at the 70th Annual American College of Rheumatology Meeting in Washington, DC, on November 11.
"It is a great honor to receive the Kirkland Scholar Award since the recipients are nominated by their peers in the field of lupus research," shares Dr. Pascual.
This new funding follows awards for lupus research at BIIR earlier this year that total nearly $3 million. Other lupus projects at BIIR are supported by the Alliance for Lupus Research and the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
"BIIR has a very strong lupus and autoimmunity program, and these recent awards, especially the establishment of the Center for Lupus
Contact: Wendy Walker
Baylor Health Care System