Yale researcher wins novel grant to study lupus

Dr. Sandra Wolin of Yale School of Medicine, is among 12 investigators to receive a 2012 Novel Research Grant from the Lupus Research Institute (LRI) to conduct innovative work in lupus. The LRI grants support original ideas from what it calls “some of the country’s most creative scientists.” Studies will look at why lupus turns the body’s immune system against itself and will develop new strategies for treatment. In total, $3.6 million was given in grants.

Wolin is a professor of cell biology and molecular biophysics and biochemistry. Her research will focus on the impact of sunlight on lupus skin flares. She told the LRI, “Many patients with lupus of the skin produce antibodies against a protein, Ro60, which normally binds RNA inside cells. We are testing whether sun exposure releases Ro60-RNA complexes that interact with the antibodies to cause skin rashes. Our findings could reveal a new pathway and novel drug targets for lupus of the skin.”

To learn more about all the winners, visit the LRI website.