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Theresa Lu, MD, PhD, associate scientist in the Autoimmunity and Inflammation Program at the Hospital for Special Surgery, has received second grants from both the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Lupus Research Institute (LRI) to support her laboratory research to advance the care of people with autoimmune conditions, including lupus, juvenile arthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis. Dr. Lu is one of only about 200 pediatric rheumatologists in the United States and one of only a handful who conduct basic research.

Dr. Lu is working to reduce immune cell activation and abnormal antibody generation in people with autoimmune disease by manipulating the blood vessels that feed the lymph node in these patients. In people with healthy immune systems, the immune cells in lymph nodes generate protective antibodies in response to infection. In people with autoimmune disease, immune cells become activated in response to their own body, generating abnormal antibodies directed at the body’s own tissues and causing damage to internal organs.

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