Lupus Research Institute Accelerates Drive for the Cure: Calls for $1 Million Distinguished Innovator Award Submissions

Bold Global Research Initiative Challenges Scientists to Propose Innovative Research Studies to Uncover the Root Causes of Lupus that Can Lead to a Cure

NEW YORK, NY – February 6, 2013 – The  Lupus Research Institute (LRI), the world’s leading supporter of innovative research in lupus, invites notable scientists from around the world to submit proposals for $1 million Distinguished Innovator Awards. Selection will be based on originality and potential to uncover the fundamental causes of autoimmunity in lupus that can propel toward a cure.

Launched just a year ago as the first $1 million private sector lupus research grants, the Distinguished Innovator Award program is already funding two highly promising projects that address the root causes of this complex disease. These Distinguished Innovator Award recipients, Drs. Ann Marshak-Rothstein at University of Massachusetts Medical School and Greg Barton at University of California, Berkeley, are taking different but complementary perspectives as they zero in on the family of proteins called Toll-like receptors (TLRs) as key triggers of the body’s autoimmune attack on itself that characterizes lupus.

“In its first year the Distinguished Innovator Award elicited a large number of creative and scientifically sound proposals to examine the fundamental causes of lupus,” noted world-leading immunologist Dr. William Paul, LRI Scientific Advisory Board Chairman and member of the National Academy of Sciences. “Based on the number of exceptional submissions, we look forward to a robust response from the international scientific community as the Institute requests proposals for the 2013 Award. The LRI is a catalyst for transformative research progress, and these awards promise to further propel the discovery process.”

“Our Distinguished Innovator Award program is taking lupus research to a very different level,” commented Lupus Research Institute President Margaret Dowd. “Based on an explosive decade of technological advances and scientific discoveries, many of which were funded by the LRI, finding the fundamental causes of lupus and driving to a cure is now an attainable goal. Our strategy of identifying and supporting only the most novel research is effectively delivering the innovation needed to drive to a cure.”

Two Grant Programs at the LRI Speeds up the Search for a Cure

The Distinguished Innovator Award complements the LRI’s well-established Novel Research Grant program, which has produced many of the decade’s pivotal discoveries in lupus. On a larger scale, the new Award provides researchers greater resources to delve more deeply into the root causes of lupus. Together the two grant initiatives further the Institute’s mission to promote scientific discovery as the world’s leading private supporter of novel research in lupus.