Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation (OMRF) researcher Neelakshi Jog, PhD, received a two-year, $300,000 grant from the Lupus Research Alliance to explore the role of a common white blood cell in lupus.
The autoimmune disorder occurs when the immune system becomes unbalanced, which can lead to the development of autoantibodies and chronic inflammation that severely damage the body’s organs and tissues. Lupus patients can battle severe periods of flare up and remission—the disease can impact the skin, kidneys, lungs, joints and cardiovascular systems.
This grant will allow Jog to investigate the most common type of white blood cells, known as neutrophils, which are identified as potentially a trigger for lupus. It is not understood what role these white blood cells play with the disease. Jog and her team will test whether or not these immature neutrophils promote inflammation and worsen or contribute to lupus flares.
A key goal would be to identify potential drug targets that could block the negative effects of the white blood cells in the disease, reports Jog.
The source of funds is the Lupus Research Alliance. The world’s leading private funder of lupus research, the alliance was established in 2016 from the merger of the Alliance for Lupus Research, the Lupus Research Institute and the S.L.E Foundation.