Three lupus organizations are joining efforts to support the advancement of lupus research by granting the Lupus Insight Prize, a recognition of major, novel insights and/or discoveries with the potential to alter the thinking on lupus and high probability of creating further progress in the diagnosis and treatment of the condition. The prize will be granted by the Alliance for Lupus Research (ALR), the Lupus Foundation of America (LFA) and the Lupus Research Institute (LRI).
The three organizations from the Federation of Clinical Immunology Societies (FOCIS) announced in a press release that they will be granting the award at the FOCIS annual meeting in San Diego on June 24. Applications for the 2015 Prize are open until March 19th for projects working on the unpredictable and potentially life-threatening autoimmune disease that affects about 1.5 million people in the United States alone.
“One goal of the Lupus Insight Prize is to stimulate the interest of outstanding investigators who have not previously focused their efforts on lupus,” explained the chair of the ALR Scientific Advisory Board, Mary K. Crow, M.D., who is also the physician-in-chief and chair of the Department of Medicine at The Hospital for Special Surgery.
“We would love to receive nominations of scientists from other fields who have had a novel insight with potential relevance to the pathogenesis or treatment of lupus. Awareness of the Lupus Insight Prize throughout the scientific community should grow the number of strong scientists who are challenged to unravel the complexities of lupus,” Crow added.
The winner of the award will receive a three-year $200,000 grant to be invested in research, in order to increase knowledge of the genetic, environmental, molecular, immunologic or cellular aspects of lupus and its treatment. All the applications will be analyzed by members of the independent Selection Committee, which will chose the recipient of the Lupus Insight Prize.
The committee includes leading lupus scientific leaders from all over the country as well as representatives of the three funding lupus organizations. The criteria that will be taken into consideration by the committee include academic achievements, creativity, insight, and potential for future progresses for improving the quality of life of lupus patients.
“Collaboration among the lupus community is important to maximize efforts to diagnose lupus, bring the disease under control and find cures,” stated the chair of the Lupus Foundation of America Medical-Scientific Advisory Council, Gary S. Gilkeson, M.D. “The support and collaboration for the Lupus Insight Prize from the Lupus Foundation of America, Alliance for Lupus Research and Lupus Research Institute further demonstrate the commitment of these organizations to work together to advance lupus research.”
In addition, the LRI Scientific Advisory Board Member, Peter Lipsky, M.D. commented that “lupus is a complex disease that requires out-of-the-box thinking to increase understanding and further our ability to treat persons with this disease effectively. Quantum leaps in understanding lupus will come from innovative discoveries by outstanding scientists. The Lupus Insight Prize will recognize those novel discoveries.”
Application from individual scientists of any age or rank associated to an academic, biomedical, research or government institution in the US will be accepted. More information on submissions and the complete guidelines are available on the website of the award here.