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Reproductive immunologist Vikki Abrahams awarded novel grant to study lupus

January 20, 2016

Vikki Abrahams, associate professor of obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive sciences, is among 12 researchers awarded a Novel Research Grant from the Lupus Research Institute (LRI) to conduct innovative work in lupus.

Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease that occurs when the body’s immune system attacks its own tissues and organs. Inflammation caused by lupus can affect many different body systems, including joints, skin, kidneys, blood cells, brain, heart, and lungs. Lupus affects more than 1.5 million Americans.

Abrahams studies reproductive immunology with a focus on the impact the immune system and immunological processes have on pregnancy outcome. She will use the LRI grant to investigate bacterial infections that may worsen pregnancy complications in women with a blood-clotting disorder known as antiphospholipid syndrome. She told the LRI, “Our novel study aims to predict and prevent traumatic complications such as miscarriages and preeclampsia — hypertension and swelling — that can occur in pregnant women who have . . . antiphospholipid syndrome.”

The Lupus Research Institute is the nation’s only nonprofit organization solely dedicated to novel research in lupus.

Submitted by Dianna Malvey on January 20, 2016