Program in Functional Genomics of Autoimmunity and Immunology of the University of Kentucky and the University of Alabama

  • Kaplan, Alan (PI)

Grants and Contracts Details


Approximately 50 million Americans suffer from autoimmune diseases. It is now the third most common disease group in America and epidemiologic data indicate the the prevalence of autoimmune disease has increased several fold over the last two decades. Autoimmune conditions include multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, type 1 diabetes, systemic lupus erythrematosus, Crohn's disease, and numerous other immunologic and inflammatory diseases. Autoimmune diseases often run in families and have a genetic component. Moreover, many of these diseases disproportionately affect women and the African-American community. Therefore, there is a compelling need to address autoimmune diseases to: • enhance the research capacity and accelerate discovery to enable new treatments and diagnostics to improve patient care; • enhance the research infrastructure to maintain and enhance the national competitiveness of the University of Kentucky and the University of Alabama; • leverage the expertise of both institutions in immunologic mechanisms so as to define novel approaches to enhancing the immune system's capacity for host defense against micro-organisms particularly as related to autoimmune disease. To achieve these goals this grant will be used to augment the equipment infrastructure and core support at both institutions particularly in the areas of genomicslinformatics, molecular analysis and cell separation. In addition, we will promote collaborative research interactions through scientific workshops and exchange of scientists, as well as joint exploration of the role of immune receptors as targets in autoimmunity and host defense, innate and adaptive immune responses, and mucosal immunity in host defense. Development of these goals will result in improved funding through NIH, greater potential for coalitions with pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, increased collaboration and cooperation among sister institutions with corresponding joint development of research initiatives, and more rapid development of new diagnostic and therapeutic advances in autoimmunity.
Effective start/end date8/15/048/14/06


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