2010 Human Lupus Biology
2011 General Immune System Function
People with lupus produce large amounts of type 1 interferons (IFNαs), a family of 12 protein molecules that prompts the body to attack itself and damage otherwise healthy tissue and organs. While blocking IFNα can apparently reduce lupus symptoms—and is being tested in clinical trials—it’s unclear exactly which in the family of 12 IFNα molecules is/are responsible for lupus complications.
With LRI funding, Dr. Walter will harness a novel combination of technologies to directly examine human lupus samples and identify the responsible interferon molecules. If successful, this exciting research will open the door to more precisely targeting anti-IFN therapies in lupus and sparing patients unnecessary drug treatment.