Marianthi Kiriakidou, MD

University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA

2007 Biomarkers, Genetics

It’s now clear now that the genes a person inherits can make him or her more susceptible to lupus. Identifying these genes and figuring out how they cause disease is a major challenge in lupus research today.

Recently discovered MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small RNA molecules that control the activity of one third of all our genes—and may well play a pivotal part in regulating the immune system. So far, their role in autoimmune diseases such as lupus has not been investigated.

By analyzing which miRNAs operate in lupus, Dr. Kiriakidou may well offer evidence for their use as new biomarkers or therapies.