AARDA supports autoimmune disease research in many ways. Through research grants, interviews, ARNet, and collaboration, AARDA’s strategic research initiatives help the entire autoimmune disease community.
The Autoimmune Research Network (ARNet) is a program run by the American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association (AARDA), in collaboration with many members of the National Coalition of Autoimmune Patient Groups (NCAPG.)
This research network empowers patients by facilitating their participation in research on autoimmune diseases by collecting patient information.This registry will be of great help to researchers and clinical trials.
Information shared with ARNet will be stored securely. Only the anonymized data will be made available for researchers to query.
Young Investigators Grant Program
AARDA awards grant to young investigators who are research basic autoimmunity issues. Basic refers to the whole autoimmune picture, or in research that could benefit the larger autoimmune community as opposed to a single or specific disease. Applications are reviewed by the Scientific Advisory Board, and winners are required to report on their research.
In 2016, five grants were awarded to the following investigators
William Bracamonte-Baran, M.D., Ph. D. “Unique Functionality of Heart Resident Innate Lymphoid Cells on Autoimmunity.”
Paulina Chalan, Ph.D. “On the Association Between Serum Soluble CTLA-4 and Hypophysitis Secondary to Ipilimumab Administration”
Jolien Suurmond, Ph. D. “Studies of Systemic and CNS Lupus”
Toshihiro Tanaka, Ph. D. “Mechanism of Gender Bias in Primary Biliary Cholangitis”
Marcela A. Ferrada, M.D. “Immunological Basis of Relapsing Polychondritis in a Mouse Model”
Held annually in the Spring, this colloquium brings together researchers in the autoimmunity field to discuss research and new findings.
In 2017, the colloquium “Cancer Immunotherapy and Autoimmunity” was held in Washington D.C. on April 22nd, in collaboration with Johns Hopkins University Medical Center.
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Research & Autoimmunity
- Although autoimmunity is the #2 cause of chronic illness, the level of basic autoimmune research funding is below 3 percent of the National Institutes of Health budget. AARDA supports basic autoimmune research, which will have impact on multiple autoimmune diseases by identifying the mechanisms that initiate the autoimmune response which triggers all autoimmune diseases. Autoimmunity as a factor in chronic illness has just begun to be explored as it is being seen as a factor in many serious conditions, such as cardiovascular disease, which has only recently been recognized.
- The whole arena of autoimmune research and its impact on autoimmune diseases is in its infancy. In the past decade, 92 biotechnology companies have formed around autoimmunity; and 27 of the major pharmaceutical companies have some drug in development for an autoimmune disease.
- We have only begun to discover the role that autoimmunity plays in many chronic illnesses. As evidence of this new knowledge, the NIH established Centers of Excellence in autoimmune diseases. AARDA provides funds for peer reviewed basic autoimmune research and donordirected specific disease research/fellowships.
- AARDA initiated the founding of the Center for Autoimmune Disease Research at Johns Hopkins University Medical Center and provided a major grant for start-up funding. AARDA continues its support of the Center’s research program. We support outstanding research at several major research institutes.