Hospital for Special Surgery Starts Lupus Research with New Federal Grants

Meadowlands Chamber member, the Hospital for Special Surgery, is leading a new dual research project with grants from the Federal Government. The Hospital for Special Surgery in coordination with Weill Cornell Medicine is starting new research on lupus flares. The research team recently received two new funding grants from the Department of Defense along with the National Institute of Health (NIH).

The Department of Defense grant, which consists of funding for three years, is aimed to study proteins emitted from lymph nodes. Meanwhile, the NIH grant, consisting of two years of funding, is to research changes of fibroblasts in lymph nodes and non-protein molecules.

“My lab is focused on understanding the pathogenesis of lupus. Lupus skin rashes affect the quality of life of patients and can be connected to systemic disease that can be life-threatening,” lead investigator Theresa Lu, M.D., Ph.D. says. “Therapeutic options in lupus are limited, and it is important that we understand pathologic mechanisms so that we can develop better therapeutic options.” This new government-backed research will take place at Hospital for Special Surgery Research Institute.

For background, when those with lupus receive sun exposure, it can cause skin lesions along with a decrease in kidney function and the function of other internal organs that are affected by lupus. It is currently unknown by researchers how skin lesions affect internal organs. However, the research team hopes to understand lupus flares and the photosensitivity that causes the lesions. The goal of the research is to find molecular pathways that will help doctors and scientists better treat this condition.

The Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) is an award-winning academic medical center. Founded in 1863, HSS has locations in New York City, New Jersey, Connecticut, Long Island, Westchester County, New York State and Florida. HSS is ranked #3 by U.S. News and World Report in rheumatology along with being ranked as the best pediatric orthopedic hospital in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. HSS is also home to its Innovation Institute which researches new drugs, medical devices and therapeutics. HSS takes on this dual research project to help with the photosensitivity of patients with lupus.

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