The DoD awarded Dr. I-Cheng Ho $1.2 million to fund a study that will examine a protein called Ets1 to determine if it can counteract the disease process of lupus. It is believed that the function of Ets1 may be impaired in people with lupus, and this research may help to better understand the cause of lupus.
Dr. Trine Jorgensen was awarded $1.1 million to further study why females are disproportionately affected by lupus. Nine out of ten people with lupus are female-a disparity that remains unexplained. Dr. Jorgensen’s studies will explore the role of a population of immunosuppressive cells in the development of lupus, and analyze related mechanisms of disease suppression as it may occur in males.
Through its advocacy initiatives that began in 2003, the Lupus Foundation of America (LFA) pioneered efforts to have lupus included as a disease area eligible for research funding through the PRMRP. The LFA has continued to demonstrate to Congress the relevance of lupus research to military personnel and their dependents. These efforts have opened an additional source of much-needed funds to support research on lupus. To date, $11.8 million has been awarded to lupus researchers through the PRMRP.
Funding for lupus research through the DoD and other relevant federal agencies has been a long-recognized priority for LFA advocacy efforts. Due to the changing demographics of the military population, there is an ever-increasing prevalence of lupus in military. The LFA recognized this emerging health issue and worked to have lupus included in the PRMRP to advance research on lupus, which ultimately will help military personnel and their families affected by lupus.