New research holds exceptional promise for finally treating antiphospholipid syndrome (APS) at its source, thereby neutralizing all aspects of the condition. We have discovered a new way to block NETs using drugs that are already approved for treatment in clinics, as well as experimental drugs. As testing continues, our hope is that this approach will lead to a significant improvement in quality of life and function for patients around the world. We are tackling APS from many angles, and are also studying the mechanisms of blood vessel injury; researching better blood markers of disease activity; and investigating the role of immune system and inflammatory cells as mediators of tissue injury, to name just a few.
Additionally, we are continuously conducting clinical trials and are leading several large national and international projects focused on tracking the progress of the disease in patients. We have established an APS registry to assemble clinical, genetic, radiological, and laboratory information that can be studied in the search for more effective treatments and a cure.
With help from our donors, we are able to keep our research moving forward, with the goal of making life safer, more comfortable, and less unpredictable for hundreds of thousands of people living with the interruptions and fear of APS.
Dr. Jason Knight and Dr. Yu (Ray) Zuo host an APS Research Talk and Virtual Lab Tour.
In addition to conducting APS research, our labs are also investigating COVID-19. Our current research shows that a significant percentage of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 had autoimmune antiphospholipid antibodies, which are typically seen in patients who have APS. We are taking this expertise and knowledge learned over the years researching APS and applying it to our research on COVID-19 to identify possible treatment options.
Donor funding makes a significant, measurable difference to researchers - especially for diseases like APS, which is just beginning to receive national attention and awareness. Listed below are just a few examples that highlight the impact donor generosity can have on our research.
Role of Anti-NET Autoantibodies in APS
Dr. Yu (Ray) Zuo had a new and bold idea to characterize “anti-NET autoantibodies” in APS, and with initial support from donors, Dr. Zuo was able to put his hypothesis to the test. He discovered a new class of clinically actionable autoantibodies, and this donor-funded discovery made him eligible for large grants from the Arthritis National Research Foundation, the Rheumatology Research Foundation, and the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Zuo will now be able to undertake a comprehensive examination of the role of anti-NET autoantibodies in APS and beyond using cutting-edge technology. We believe that this work has revealed an entirely new aspect of pathophysiology in APS, lupus, and COVID-19 that has significant translational potential.
Targeting Metabolism in APS and Lupus
Dr. Ajay Tambralli is examining how the metabolism of neutrophils is altered in APS and lupus with the goal of identifying smarter, more personalized targets for therapeutic interventions. Using donor funding, Dr. Tambralli realized that neutrophils in APS were especially adept at using sugars to generate energy. With his project now supported by the Rheumatology Research Foundation, Dr. Tambralli will use several high-tech approaches to investigate how various metabolic pathways are altered in APS and lupus. The hope is to eventually tailor treatment to the individual through key supplements, special diets, or other lifestyle changes that can free patients with APS from the consequences of active disease and medication toxicities. Learn more.
Examining Inflammation Underlying APS in Pediatric Patients
Dr. Jacqueline Madison serves as a bridge between the APS Program and C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital as she tries to help identify and care for pediatric APS patients. At first, pediatric APS cases seemed relatively rare. Dr. Madison now believes that APS is going unreported and undiagnosed because pediatric-specific criteria need to be more widely developed. Donor funding helped Dr. Madison enroll pediatric patients in a Michigan Medicine APS study examining inflammation that underlies their disease. Additionally, donor support has enabled Dr. Madison to have protected time dedicated to participating in the Michigan Medicine Clinical Trials Academy, a specialized curriculum designed to train the new generation of clinical investigators in all areas of human disease at Michigan Medicine.
How to Donate
To make a gift to support our COVID-19 research, please visit: COVID-19 Research Fund.
To make a gift to support our APS research, please visit: APS Gift Fund.
If you have any questions or need help making a gift, please contact the Department of Internal Medicine Development Office (Lori Hirshman: [email protected] or 734-763-6080).
Join Our Email List
If you are interested in receiving updates on our patient care and research efforts, please join our APS Program email list.