Media Advisory

Friday, August 27, 2010

Systemic lupus erythematosus: From mouse models to human disease and treatment

What: On Sept. 2-3, 2010, the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), the National Cancer Institute (NCI), the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), and the NIH Office of Research on Women’s Health (ORWH) will convene a two-day conference on Systemic Lupus Erythematosus: From Mouse Models to Human Disease and Treatment. This meeting will bring together basic research scientists working on models of autoimmune disease relevant to systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), with clinicians treating lupus patients. There are numerous mouse models of lupus, but their relevance to the actual disorder is still a subject for debate. Moreover, since SLE is a heterogeneous disease, some features of the disorder may be better reflected in one or another mouse model. The purpose of this meeting is to discuss:

  • the clinical and molecular similarities – and differences – seen in human disease and animal models of systemic lupus erythematosus
  • the most important features of SLE
  • what clinical biomarkers are the most important for monitoring the disease and assessing the effectiveness of treatment in humans and mouse models
  • what animal models might be most useful in developing new biomarkers and treatments for the disease.

More information about the conference can be found at:

Who: Conference moderator Robert H. Carter, M.D., NIAMS Deputy Director, has an established record of exemplary career achievements in the fields of rheumatology and immunology. He has been a leader in contributing to the understanding of molecular regulation of B lymphocyte activation to identify targets for therapeutic control of autoantibody production. A major focus of his work has been on signal transduction by the B cell surface molecule CD19. Prior to arriving at NIAMS in Oct. 2008, Dr. Carter and his colleagues at the University of Alabama at Birmingham expanded their focus to include target identification in human lupus and the study of B cells in the immune response of healthy individuals. Dr. Carter is available to discuss the topic of systemic lupus erythematosus – in animal models and humans – upon request.

Contact: To schedule interviews, contact the NIAMS Office of Communications and Public Liaison at (301) 496-8190.

The mission of the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, a part of the Department of Health and Human Services' National Institutes of Health, is to support research into the causes, treatment, and prevention of arthritis and musculoskeletal and skin diseases; the training of basic and clinical scientists to carry out this research; and the dissemination of information on research progress in these diseases. For more information about NIAMS, call the information clearinghouse at (301) 495-4484 or (877) 22-NIAMS (free call) or visit the NIAMS Web site at

NCI leads the National Cancer Program and the NIH effort to dramatically reduce the burden of cancer and improve the lives of cancer patients and their families, through research into prevention and cancer biology, the development of new interventions, and the training and mentoring of new researchers. For more information about cancer, please visit the NCI Web site at or call NCI's Cancer Information Service at 1-800-4-CANCER (1-800-422-6237).

NIAID conducts and supports research — at NIH, throughout the United States, and worldwide — to study the causes of infectious and immune-mediated diseases, and to develop better means of preventing, diagnosing and treating these illnesses. News releases, fact sheets and other NIAID-related materials are available on the NIAID Web site at

The Office of Research on Women's Health (ORWH), Office of the Director, National Institutes of Health (NIH) serves as a focal point for women's health research at the NIH. For more information about NIH’s Office of Research on Women's Health, visit

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit

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