Healthy Living

Lupus: Funding and Research for a Cure

Lupus: Funding and Research for a Cure

Key Takeaways

  • There are a number of researchers and fundraisers for lupus who are trying very hard to ensure that they come up with a cure for this disease. 
  • The Lupus Foundation of America was able to secure around $75 million from the federal government for research, training and getting an education on lupus.
  • The Alliance for Lupus Research works hard to fund favorable scientific investigations led by the best and brightest minds in lupus research.

There are a couple of researchers and fundraisers for lupus who are trying very hard to ensure that they come up with a cure for this disease. The research is based on ensuring that those suffering from lupus can deal with the disease comfortably as the research is underway. Researchers are worldwide and working towards a common goal that is the prevention and cure for lupus.

Major areas of research 

  • Disease etiology
  • Innate immunity
  • Acquired immunity and inflammation
  • Target organ damage
  • Pediatric lupus
  • Special populations and health services research
  • Diagnosis and treatment

The Mary Kirkland Center for Lupus Care for Professionals

The center holds lectures once a month to explore lupus and other similar disorders. On February 10, 2017 , the Lupus & APS COE Grant Funded Projects were presented by David Fernandez, MD, Ph.D., Shanthini Kasturi, MD, and Kai Sun, MD.

Lupus Foundation of America

The foundation has pumped millions of dollars in leading medical institutions for lupus research. Furthermore, it has funded studies and initiatives for underfunded and overlooked areas such as male lupus, cardiovascular disease, and pediatric lupus. Some of the activities of this foundation include:

  • Funding adult stem research.
  • The organization dedicates to fund cardiovascular research in Lupus.
  • The organization is committed to unlocking the impact of the disease on the kidney and brain.
  • The organization has secured almost $75 million in federal funding for professional training, research and advocacy in training.

Alliance for Lupus Research (ALR)

The alliance works hard to fund favorable scientific investigations led by the best and brightest minds in lupus research. The non-governmental organization has committed over $172 million to lupus research in order to give hope to people with the disease and provide them viable treatment options that a cure is on the horizon.

Pediatric lupus - ALR

ALR leads the way in providing significant funding on pediatric lupus research in the following ways:

  • Evaluating social and psychological effects of lupus and its drug treatments on children suffering from lupus.
  • Investigate disease and drug treatment effects, school attendance, education and adhering to medication.
  • Measuring quality of life of children with lupus using specific tools.

Lupus Foundation of America

This foundation has scientific initiatives to advance drug development. The foundation encourages biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies to come up with new therapies. The rapid evaluation of activity in lupus is apilot application used to evaluate lupus activity.

Lupus Foundation of America Grants

LIFELINE Grants Program: The foundation temporarily provides funds to research labs that experience a gap in external funds until the lab secures support from other sources.

Collaborative Endeavors for Lupus Research and Treatments

Fellowship programs:

Gina M. Finzi Memorial Student Summer Fellowship Program

The fellowship cultivates interest among young scientists to invest their career in lupus research.

Lupus Research Programs and Centers

There are quite a number of research programs and centers for this disease. These centers are striving to ensure that they come up with a cure for this disease so that they can treat over 5 million people who are affected by this disease. Here are the research programs and centers:

  1. Systemic Lupus Research Studies of Northwestern University
  2. Mary Kirkland Center for Lupus Research
  3. Lupus Research Alliance
  4. Action Plan for Lupus Research
  5. Lupus and Autoimmunity Research Program
  6. Lupus Research Institute

Methods of acquiring funds for research on lupus

  1. Donations from well-wishers: People who are empathetic to the cause of finding a cure for lupus will contribute towards the cause. It is essential to ensure that before embarking on any research that you have the support of people who are willing to donate or contribute towards enabling the research. If the cards are played right, then you may have enough funding for the research.
  2. Government grants: The government also gives out grants to organizations or medical facilities carrying out research on lupus. The only trick here is to ensure that you apply for the grants being disbursed by the government. The government plays a very major role towards enabling such activities. For instance, the Lupus Foundation of America was able to secure around $75 million from the federal government for research, training and getting an education on lupus. This has made this organization get a step closer to a breakthrough. They are in fact the first organization to attain funding for the stem cell research. Their progress is fueled by their funding which is quite enormous and strategic. It is then distributed to the various branches to ensure that the research goes on smoothly.

Application for Lupus Research Grant from Lupus Research Institute

The Lupus Research Institute offers opportunities for organizations and individual scientists who are carrying out research to apply for funding. It gives two platforms, which are the Distinguished Innovator Awards and Novel Research Grants to apply for funding.

  1. Global Innovator Awards Program: It was started in the year 2012 and it accepts proposals from US and Researchers, they offer grants of a considerable amount of one million dollars so that they conduct their research using up to date technology with the main aim of finding a cure for lupus. This program also recognizes scientists who have come up with excellent research programs as a way of motivating them and the others.
  2. Novel Research Grant: This program has been in the forefront of the world's most recognized discoveries and research when it comes to lupus. The program gives grants to organizations and scientists of $300,000 for 3-year projects. This program is only available to US-based scientists and researchers.

Who is most likely to suffer from lupus?

5 million people suffer from lupus globally but women who are just about the childbearing age are the most susceptible to this disease. This does not mean that other people cannot suffer from lupus, as men and children also suffer from it, but just not as much as women around the childbearing age.

Just like any other chronic disease, it has its preferences and there are those people who are more likely to get a hefty blow from it than others. These results are achieved via a conclusive study carried out with enough funding. Nobody is exempt from this disease, but it is rampant in women more than men.

Challenges in the funding for research on lupus

  • There are cases of corruption and misappropriation of funds; the funds are not well utilized thus affecting the research.
  • Inadequate resources for the research.
  • Failure to get federal funding.

Clinical trials

This is the most important part of any research, because it will give the researcher a point of reference. They will be in a position to try out new strategies and see whether they are working. This is the only way that they will know for sure that their cure works, but the only challenges are to get volunteers for clinical trials. Not many people want to be an experimental guinea pig. Clinical trials deal with medications and surgeries, and if the results are not guaranteed, then it may be hard to convince someone to embark on this mission.

Final thoughts

Funds are required in order for research to be completed in time. Organizations and medical facilities have to get creative and also appeal to well-wishers to contribute towards the funding of this research. A well-funded research program is bound to achieve the best results. The information provided to the patient with lupus should be accurate and unfortunately, misinformation abounds. A well-designed study should use an appropriate control group to determine other risk factors in lupus such as smoking and stress in flaring the disease.