UAB awarded $250,000 grant to uncover root causes of lupus

A UAB researcher investigates how lupus develops and why certain demographics are at higher risk of flare-ups.

john mountz vThe Lupus Research Alliance recently awarded the University of Alabama at Birmingham a one-year grant of $250,000 to investigate a new explanation for how lupus develops and the reason some people, particularly blacks, are at greater risk for flare-ups and kidney disease. The work will be reviewed for additional funding pending progress at the end of the first year.

“The results will form a solid foundation to develop interferon therapies and identify markers that track the diseases in people with lupus,” said John D. Mountz, M.D., Ph.D., Goodwin-Blackburn Chair and co-director of the UAB Center for Aging.

Mountz received the 2017 Dr. William E. Paul Distinguished Innovator Award in Lupus and Autoimmunity, which provides up to $1 million over four years to encourage exceptional investigators worldwide to pursue innovative research projects that pair unconventional creativity with sound science to uncover the fundamental causes of lupus. His research is expected to accelerate the development of novel treatments that prevent, arrest or cure lupus and its complications.