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Research Author: Staff Editor Last Updated: Nov 29, 2012 - 7:11:02 AM



Medical College of Wisconsin and Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin to Investigate Autoantibody Production in Autoimmune Disorders

By Staff Editor
Oct 8, 2012 - 10:58:05 AM



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(HealthNewsDigest.com) - The Medical College of Wisconsin and Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin Research Institute received a one-year award for more than $375,000 from the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. The award will fund an investigation of the factors involved in regulating the production of autoantibodies, which are antibodies that target an individual’s own tissues. These autoantibodies are linked to autoimmune disorders like lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.

Stephen Gauld, Ph.D., assistant professor of pediatrics in allergy and immunology, and microbiology and molecular genetics, and a researcher at the Research Institute, is the principal investigator for the grant.

The National Institutes of Health estimated in 2005 that between 15 and 24 million Americans suffer from one of the more than 80 diseases in the autoimmune disorder family. Many of these chronic diseases have no cure and disproportionally impact women. Patients are often debilitated by their symptoms and the high costs of a lifetime of treatment.

This project seeks to understand the factors that influence the production of autoantibodies that attack a patient’s own tissues in cases of autoimmune disease. Prior research in Dr. Gauld’s lab has shown that a cell in the immune system, the regulatory T cell, suppresses the production of autoantibodies by other immune cells called B cells. Dr. Gauld will study this reaction to understand how it works and how it can be manipulated to reduce tissue damage and promote patient health.

The results of this study will advance understanding of autoantibody production and help researchers discover novel treatments to slow down or prevent the generation of antibodies that attack the body’s tissues.

http://www.niaid.nih.gov/topics/autoimmune/documents/adccfinal.pdf

http://www.aarda.org/autoimmune_statistics.php

http://labtestsonline.org/understanding/analytes/autoantibodies/tab/glance

http://www.nih.gov/news/health/jan2012/niehs-13.htm

About the Medical College of Wisconsin

The Medical College of Wisconsin is the state’s only private medical school and health sciences graduate school. Founded in 1893, it is dedicated to leadership and excellence in education, patient care, research and service. More than 1,200 students are enrolled in the Medical College’s medical school and graduate school programs. A major national research center, it is the largest research institution in the Milwaukee metro area and second largest in Wisconsin. In FY 2010 – 11, faculty received more than $175 million in external support for research, teaching, training and related purposes, of which more than $161 million is for research. This total includes highly competitive research and training awards from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Annually, College faculty direct or collaborate on more than 2,200 research studies, including clinical trials. Additionally, more than 1,350 physicians provide care in virtually every specialty of medicine for more than 400,000 patients annually.

About Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin

Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin is the region’s only independent health care system dedicated solely to the health and well-being of children. The hospital, with locations in Milwaukee and Neenah, Wis. is recognized as one of the leading pediatric health care centers in the United States. Children’s Hospital provides primary care, specialty care, urgent care, emergency care, community health services, foster and adoption services, child and family counseling, child advocacy services and family resource centers. In 2010, Children’s Hospital invested more than $105 million in the community to improve the health status of children through medical care, advocacy, education and pediatric medical research. Children’s Hospital achieves its mission in part through donations from individuals, corporations and foundations and is proud to be a Children’s Miracle Network Hospital. For more information, visit the website at chw.org.

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