Turner Foundation Funds Lupus Research
Through a $1 million gift from the Turner Foundation,
researchers in Emory University's Division of Pediatric Rheumatology
and Immunology will work to uncover new knowledge about a poorly understood
autoimmune disorder and how it affects children and teens. This is a
one-time grant for medical research from the Foundation.
Systemic lupus erythematosus is a chronic, inflammatory autoimmune
disorder. The organ systems most often involved in lupus are the skin,
kidneys, blood, joints and nervous system. Symptoms can range from mild
to severe; the disease can have serious complications and can be fatal
in some cases. The cause of lupus is unknown.
Lupus affects primarily teenage and adult women worldwide. It is more
prevalent and often more severe in African-American females than white
females. There are 40-50 cases per 100,000 African-Americans, as compared
to 15-20 per 100,000 whites. There are an estimated 35,000 Georgians
"Lupus is a serious and sometimes deadly challenge affecting young
people and their families," said Ted Turner. "The Turner Foundation
is pleased to help combat this terrible disease by making a contribution
to research directed at a better understanding of the cause and treatment
of this disease in children and teens."
The Turner Foundation funding, to be given over a five-year period,
will support the establishment of a concerted research effort into lupus
by the Division of Pediatric Rheumatology and Immunology, including
the recruitment of an outstanding research scientist in the field. Both
the causes of lupus and new treatments will be explored.
Dr. J. Devn Cornish, chairman of the Department of Pediatrics in the
Emory University School of Medicine, noted that this important gift
represents a landmark in the development of lupus and basic rheumatologic
research at Emory. "These funds will both strengthen the research activities
of our existing faculty and enable the recruitment of key researchers
in this field. We are truly grateful to Mr. Turner and the Foundation
for their foresight and generosity."
Dr. Larry Vogler, director of Emory's Division of Pediatric Rheumatology
and Immunology, will head the program. "I am extremely grateful to be
given this opportunity by the Turner Foundation to contribute through
research to better treatments and an ultimate cure for lupus," said
Dr. Vogler. There are currently only a limited number of centers in
the United States conducting research in rheumatic diseases as they
affect children and teens. Emory University's goal, through its Division
of Pediatric Rheumatology, is to make a substantive contribution to
this area of research.
The Division of Pediatric Rheumatology and Immunology is a section
within the Department of Pediatrics in Emory University School of Medicine.
The division is dedicated to the care of children and adolescents with
lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases and to research
into the causes of, and better treatments for, these conditions.