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Lupus Research

The mission of Saint Louis University Lupus Research is to raise money for systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and childhood arthritis research conducted at the Saint Louis University School of Medicine Division of Rheumatology.

What is Systemic Lupus Erythematosus?

Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), which affects hundreds of Saint Louis area residents, is a chronic, autoimmune disease that causes inflammation in parts of the body such as the central nervous system (CNS) including the brain, kidneys, heart, lungs, skin and joints. People suffering from the disease can face various problems in their daily lives, including extreme fatigue, muscle and joint pain, and severe kidney and CNS manifestations. SLE strikes more people than AIDS, sickle cell anemia, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis and cystic fibrosis combined. It affects one out of every 185 Americans, 90 percent of whom are women. African Americans and women between the ages of 15 and 45 are at the highest risk of contracting the disease, which has no cure. Symptoms include a rash on the face or other body parts, joint pain and fatigue. Cases range from mild to life threatening.

SLU Researchers Win NIH Grant to Study Lupus

Researchers at Saint Louis University's Division of Rheumatology have been awarded a $1.8 million NIH grant to study the physiological and biochemical functions in lupus, an autoimmune disease, and develop possible new medications for its treatment.

Lupus, a chronic inflammatory disease, occurs when the body's immune system produces antibodies that attack tissues and organs. It affects different parts of the body including kidneys, blood cells, brain, heart and lungs.

Terry Moore, M.D., director of rheumatology and Anil Chauhan, Ph.D., associate professor in the Division of Rheumatology at SLU will study and evaluate the role of T cells and immune complexes in the disease, and how they generate inflammatory responses.

The grant is based on a unique capture technology for isolation of immune complexes developed by Chauhan.

The five-year project will involve evaluation of T cells in 100 lupus patients.