2006 Biomarkers, Human Lupus Biology
In lupus, immune system cells in the blood that normally fight infection somehow become abnormal and attack the body, causing often widespread tissue damage. The cells make infection-fighting molecules such as CD40L at the wrong times, for example, which in turn causes further abnormal behavior in immune system cells.
Using white blood cells from people with and without lupus, Dr. Roman is using his LRI Novel Research Grant to examine a completely new idea- that the disease can potentially be treated by inactivating particular molecules (TFE3 and TFEB) that he has serendipitously discovered control the ability of immune system cells to manufacture CD40L.
In spring 2008, Dr. Roman won an NIH grant for $1.4 million to look deeper into the link between CD40L gene regulation, infection, abnormal behavior in immune system cells, and lupus.