Lupus Research at the
University of Arizona Medical Center

The Lupus Foundation of Southern Arizona is pleased to support and work with the research team at the University of Arizona Medical Center.  Miranda Adelman, PhD. Assistant professor of rheumatology at the UA College of Medicine leads an active research lab investigating the factors leading to the development of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE).  Dr. Adelman studies many aspects of lupus and other autoimmune diseases, including the role(s) of viruses in the development of lupus.  The overall goal of her research is to investigate the genetic and environmental factors associated with the mechanisms of lupus. Once the causative processes and mechanisms associated with SLE are understood, specific therapies for the treatment of lupus may be developed.

Dr. Adelman remembers: “My interest in lupus developed at a very young age. Several members of my family have autoimmune disease.  I remember the confusion and concern my family experienced when we began education ourselves about lupus.  This was in the 1990’s; and the information on lupus was extremely limited. Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) was considered a potentially fatal disease in the 1990’s primarily since the disease was often undiagnosed until severe and treatment options were extremely limited.  At the age of 16, I decided that I would pursue a career in medicine to study lupus It was and is my goal to learn as much as possible about SLE: (1) so that safe, effective dedications for lupus can be developed, and (2) to educate patients and families affected by lupus.”

What is Happening at the Research Lab?

Dr. Miranda Adelman says, “With directed andfocused research on SLE, it is now considered amanageable disease.  Several new medications that were specifically developed for lupus are in clinical trials with many more on the horizon.  My lab at the University of Arizona, College of Medicine, focuses on studying the causative pathways leading to the development and flare of SLE.  The seed money provided by the LFSA is raised locally through several fundraising events sponsored by the Lupus Foundation of Southern Arizona and is donated to my lab annually.  This money provides me with the resources to collect and store blood, tissues and cells from people with lupus.  The blood, cells and tissues from people with SLE are stored in a sample repository in my lab. A benefit of having this SLE repository is that it allows me to conduct many investigations on the same samples from the same cohort of SLE subjects.  When applying for research grants to support the work of my lab, especially grants to support short projects of 1-2 year, the repository is very helpful as it allows me to continue the research with out having to recruit new SLE subjects.  Additionally, I am able to re-contact most of the people who donated blood samples to the repository for additional blood donations if needed.  This is particularly helpful when we find a sample (person) with interesting characteristics or criteria that fulfill the requirement of specific projects.  The cost of the materials needed to collect, purify and store biological samples is significant.  This, the continued support from the Lupus Foundation of Southern Arizona is critical to the success of my research of lupus.  My collaborators, students and I are grateful for this support.  We thank the LFSA and Tucson community for donation the funds needed to support my on going research here at University of Arizona on lupus.”

The Lupus Foundation of Southern Arizona urges you to support Dr. Miranda Adelman’s research. Through individual donations and estate planning gifts, the Foundation will be able to continue to help fund this important work.

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