The Alliance for Lupus Research announces 2008 grantees

April 17, 2008

The Alliance for Lupus Research (ALR) recently announced it will award nearly $7 million to researchers around the world. "The ALR is very proud to announce, during National Minority Health Month, that with our 2008 class of grantees the ALR has funded more than 100 research projects, and committed more than $50 million to research, since our founding in 1999," says ALR President Barbara Boyts. For a full list of grantees, visit the ALR's website, www.lupusresearch.org.

Twenty-seven projects will be funded through ALR's Target Identification in Lupus (TIL) and Pilot Grant programs. TIL investigators receive a two-year, up-to-$500,000 award for research focused on removing the barriers to new treatments and a possible cure. All research funded under the TIL program is based on realizable goals for translation into therapeutic discovery programs - that is, research that can move quickly from the laboratory to the patient's bedside. Pilot Grant investigators receive a one-year award of up to $75,000. The Pilot Grant program is designed to support efforts that reflect innovative approaches and techniques and aid in the development of necessary pilot data for submission of larger awards to National Institutes of Health, the ALR, or other funding agencies.

Lupus causes unpredictable symptoms ranging from fatigue and joint pain to severe organ damage and, too often, can be fatal. Women are nine times more likely than men to develop the condition. Women of African-American descent are three times more likely to be diagnosed with the disease. Asian, Hispanic and women from the Pacific Rim are also more likely to be affected. African-American women, aged 45 to 64, not only have the highest death rate of people with lupus, but also have the biggest increase in death rates over the past 20 years, according to Dr. Charles Helmick, the Center for Disease Control's Medical Epidemiologist.

"Lupus is a severe health crisis in America, especially for our minority population," says ALR's Scientific Advisory Board Chair, Dr. Mary K. Crow. "Only through increased focus on innovative biomedical research, like those projects in ALR's portfolio, will we find a solution."
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The Alliance for Lupus Research (ALR) is a national voluntary health organization based in New York City and founded in 1999. Chaired by Robert Wood Johnson IV, it has become the world's largest private source of lupus research funds and has committed $50 million to lupus-specific research projects since its inception. The organization's mission is to find better treatments and ultimately prevent and cure lupus by supporting medical research. Because the ALR's Board of Directors pays for all administrative and fundraising costs, 100% of all donations go directly to support lupus research programs. For more information, visit www.lupusresearch.org.

Alliance for Lupus Research

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