Lupus Research Leaders Join Forces to Bring Vital Biomedical Research Issues to Congress

Together Voice Critical Need for Federal Appropriations to Support Lupus Research and Advance New Treatments

Lupus Research Institute—March 19, 2013

America's leading proponents for lupus research came together today to host a Congressional briefing to update the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives on the pressing needs of the 1.5 million Americans living with lupus -- the prototypical autoimmune disease.

As sequestration imminently threatens funding for scientific research to advance new drug development and a cure, the plight of those suffering with lupus, particularly in underserved communities, is stark. To bring patients' voices to the fore, the Lupus Research Institute (LRI) in collaboration with the Alliance for Lupus Research and the American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association hosted the briefing along with long-time lupus champion Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) and the Congressional Lupus Caucus.

"The lupus community has united today to bring federal attention to our common cause, and we are deeply grateful to Senator Lautenberg and members of the Congressional Lupus Caucus for their help in raising awareness of lupus among their colleagues on the Hill," commented Margaret Dowd, president and CEO of the Lupus Research Institute. "Together we call upon all members of Congress to strengthen support for biomedical research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Privately funded research is the engine for discovery. But we need sustained and dependable long-term growth in NIH-funded medical research to turn innovation into new treatments and cures."

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Protecting the Scientific Progress of the Past Decade 
Dr. Mary Crow, Physician-in-Chief and Chair of the Division of Rheumatology at Hospital for Special Surgery delivered a powerful presentation on the importance of federal funding to sustain biomedical research at the NIH in lupus and other autoimmune diseases. "We must protect the invaluable progress of lupus research over the last decade and cannot lose ground at this pivotal juncture when solutions to this confounding disease are finally within reach," noted Dr. Crow.

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