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Ziaur Rahman, MD, PhD

Associate Professor Microbiology and Immunology
Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine

Mechanisms of the Autoimmune Germinal Center Response in SLE

Dr. Rahman will use his Novel Research Grant to map out how the molecular pathways that govern antibody production areas called germinal centers differ in people with lupus from those in healthy individuals. Germinal centers are locations inside a person’s spleen and lymph nodes where immune B cells that make antibodies develop their ability to fight infections or, in the case of lupus, to attack a person’s tissues. Correcting the defects in lupus-related germinal centers could reduce or block the development of disease-causing B cells and the tissue-targeting antibodies they make that cause so much damage in people with lupus.

What this study means for people with lupus

Dr. Rahman’s research on germinal centers represents an novel target for understanding and, ultimately, treating lupus. Understanding the role of germinal centers in lupus should uncover new targets for drug development to complement existing therapies.

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