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Jason S. Knight, MD, PhD

Assistant Professor
University of Michigan Medical School

Neutrophil Elastase as a Therapeutic Target in Lupus

Dr. Knight studies how a type of immune cell called a neutrophil contributes to lupus and its complications. In a model of lupus, he found that turning off elastase, a protein made in neutrophils, reduces autoimmunity, kidney disease, and blood clotting that can lead to strokes. Building on this intriguing discovery, Dr. Knight is now mapping out the molecular pathways that neutrophil elastase uses to damage the kidneys, heart, and blood vessels in lupus. This innovative research project will create a solid foundation for the development of drugs that target elastase as a potential lupus treatment.

What this study means for people with lupus

Dr. Knight has identified a new player in the development of lupus and its complications—neutrophil elastase. His Novel Research Grant will reveal whether elastase is a good target for the development of a new type of treatment for people with lupus.

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