Happy little girl patient with happy doctor listening with stethoscope

Research + Studies

Our Grants

We are currently funding several investigations into key aspects of autoimmune disease.

Photo from left to right; Patrizio Caturegli, M.D., M.P.H., Director of The Autoimmune Research Center, Johns Hopkins Medicine; Sandra Boek Werness, Executive Director, GAI; Paulina Chalan, PhD, Walter and Jean Boek Autoimmune Research Fellow, Division of Immunology, Johns Hopkins Medicine

Exploring Effects of Cancer Immunotherapy Drugs on Autoimmune Manifestations

Principal Investigator: Dr. Paulina Chalan

Photo from left to right; Patrizio Caturegli, M.D., M.P.H., Director of The Autoimmune Research Center, Johns Hopkins Medicine; Sandra J. Boek, Executive Director, GAI; Paulina Chalan, PhD, Walter and Jean Boek Autoimmune Research Fellow, Division of Immunology, Johns Hopkins Medicine.

We are currently funding postdoctoral research at Johns Hopkins Medicine on the development of autoimmune hypophysitis (primarily affecting the pituitary gland) following cancer immunotherapy. This study is significant and unique, in that it will track the development of this autoimmune disease from inception, in mouse models, in order to better understand the evolution of the disease.

Photo: Randi Foraker, PhD, MA, FAHA, Associate Professor, Institute for Informatics, Washington University in St. Louis, School of Medicine, and colleagues.

Prevalence, Risk, and Clustering of Autoimmune Diseases

Principal Investigator: Dr. Randi Foraker

Photo:  Randi Foraker, PhD, MA, FAHA, Associate Professor, Institute for Informatics, Washington University in St. Louis, School of Medicine, and colleagues.

GAI is funding this investigation to help to begin to determine critical questions in autoimmune disease. At this stage, data is limited for most ADs. GAI is determined to help find the real answers, and is delighted to support and work with Dr. Foraker and her colleagues who have embarked on this important project.

This study will determine the prevalence of autoimmune disease by year from their catchment area, which will then be extrapolated to the overall U.S. population. The project will also apply data-driven approaches to identify demographic and clinical factors which are predictive of autoimmune disease, and to document the co-occurrence of autoimmune and non-autoimmune diseases to describe common “clusters” of diagnoses. This project is expected to help us better understand the burden of autoimmune disease in the U.S. and to aid healthcare providers in more quickly and precisely identifying and treating patients who have autoimmune disease.

Photo: Linda Spatz, PhD, and colleagues in their lab

Clinical Relevance and Structural Analysis
of Antibodies to EBNA-1 that cross react
with DsDNA

Principal Investigator: Dr. Linda Spatz

Photo: Linda Spatz, PhD, and colleagues in their lab.

This scientific investigation of Lupus SLE patients focuses on whether the Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) causes production of human antibodies using molecular mimicry in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). This could suggest that EBV may be a cause of SLE. The long-term goal of the study is to design a treatment to block certain EBV antibodies that cause organ damage in SLE patients.

CNMC Clinic Research Project

In connection with the Children’s National Medical Center Multidisciplinary Clinic for celiac disease patients, GAI is funding an innovative study of immune system functioning in celiac disease.