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Mridu Acharya, PhD

Research Assistant Member
Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason

Autophagy components and B cell activation During SLE

The B cells of lupus patients are hyperactive, causing inflammation and damage to tissues. By studying mice, she has discovered a new molecular control switch for these cells. In their new study, they want to find out more about how this control switch works in human B cells and why it doesn’t function properly when people develop lupus. Some patients carry varying versions of the switch proteins, and they also want to investigate how these differences affect whether someone gets lupus. Better understanding of the control switch will help efforts to develop new treatments that flip it on in patients with lupus.


What this study means to people with lupus

Dr. Acharya’s group has found a new pathway in lupus, having identified proteins that normally work together to prevent B cells, a type of immune cell that releases disease-fighting molecules, from targeting patients’ cells. Working with human B Cells, she will investigate why these proteins fail to put on the brakes in lupus and potential new treatments to get them working properly again.

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