Joseph Ahearn, MD, University of Pittsburgh

"Biomarkers for Diagnosis, Monitoring and Prognosis in Pediatric SLE"

2009 Michael Jon Barlin Pediatric Lupus Research Program

There is an urgent need for new tests (biomarkers) to help physicians to more accuratelydiagnose, monitor, and foresee future disease complications in children with lupus. This project constitutes a collaboration between the Lupus Centers in Pittsburgh and Cincinnati. Both programs recently have made promising lupus biomarker discoveries. Pittsburgh physician-scientists have discovered abnormal levels of complement proteins on surfaces of circulating blood cells in adult patients with lupus. Cincinnati physician-scientists have discovered biomarkers in the urine that show promise in monitoring kidney disease in children with lupus. This grant will enable both groups to combine discoveries and expertise to further advance this field in developing a panel of biomarker tests that will ultimately be used to improve physicians' diagnosis and care of children with lupus.