NIAMS Presents Plan for Lupus Research at Congressional Briefing
NIAMS director Dr. Stephen Katz and deputy director Dr. Robert Carter recently participated in a congressional briefing to highlight the NIH Action Plan for Lupus Research. The plan, a trans-NIH effort led by NIAMS in response to a request from the Congressional Lupus Caucus, was released in January. It represents a synthesis of input from the NIH community, as well as the lupus researcher, clinician and patient advocacy communities, on promising future research directions to improve the lives of people with lupus.
Lupus is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system mistakenly attacks its own organs, tissues and cells. It often strikes women in their prime, interfering with the ability to work, have or raise a family or, in some cases, even care for themselves.
The Capitol Hill briefing was sponsored by the Congressional Lupus Caucus. It was presented by the Alliance for Lupus Research and the Lupus Research Institute (LRI) and moderated by Margaret Dowd, president and CEO of the LRI. More than 70 congressional office and committee staff, lupus advocates and other guests attended the event.
Lupus Caucus co-chairs Rep. Bill Keating (D-MA) and Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) offered brief remarks, noting the progress made in lupus treatments and support for continued research. Rep. Tom Rooney’s (R-FL) video message reiterated a commitment to improving the quality of life for individuals with lupus. Katz discussed development of the action plan and future areas of opportunity elaborated in it. Carter highlighted recent scientific progress and current research efforts that will lead to new insights for lupus.
Other presenters included NIH-supported lupus researcher Dr. Stephania Gallucci of Temple University and lupus patient advocate Molly McCabe of Molly’s Fund Fighting Lupus. A video message from NIH director Dr. Francis Collins, highlighting the Accelerating Medicines Partnership, concluded the briefing.