Support Our Work

The Kahlenberg Lab is heading investigations that have placed scientists on the verge of understanding changes, at the most basic level, that occur in the skin of people with lupus, and importantly, the skin’s response to ultraviolet (UV) light. The way that lupus skin cells behave when exposed to even low levels of UV light is dramatically different than normal cells. And currently, our most reliable treatments are globally immunosuppressive therapies that are not targeted to the specific disease pathway of the patient. However, with promising drugs in development, we’re working to be able to identify the best therapy based on the skin cells of each person, cultivating a future of individualized precision treatment plans for patients.

At Michigan Medicine, the interdisciplinary scientific capital at our fingertips allows us to employ a broad bioinformatics approach to generate hypotheses. Today, we are one of few programs in the country exploring the complexities of lupus in this way, and the data we’re harnessing gives a clearer picture of the striking abnormalities in lupus skin cells. We have created a biorepository for lupus samples, and our scientists are evaluating genetic data from patients to determine if there are genetic links triggering lupus symptoms. And with robust resources, these questions and more can be answered in the foreseeable future.

Investigating the Causes of Flares in Autoimmune Disease Webinar

Dr. Michelle Kahlenberg presents "Investigating the Causes of Flares in Autoimmune Disease", followed by Dr. Joseph McCune who discusses the mission and goals of the Lupus Program.

Work in the Kahlenberg Lab is cutting-edge, however, to maintain momentum, implement a more personalized approach to treatment, and remain national leaders in lupus science and care, we need to build upon this solid foundation. Not only do we want to recruit and retain eager early-career physician-scientists; we need program coordinators, collaborative space in which to work, and, ideally, to add a psychosocial element to educate patients about lupus and help them navigate medications, appointments, and insurance barriers. With your investment in the Division of Rheumatology and lupus, we can accelerate health care toward a better future and change the face of medicine.

How to Donate

To make a gift to support our research, please visit the Rheumatology General Research Fund - Kahlenberg online giving page.

If you have any questions or need help making a gift, please contact the Department of Internal Medicine Development Office (Lori Hirshman: hirshmal@med.umich.edu or 734-763-6080).