Research Progress Related to Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (Lupus)

The NIAMS Lupus Clinical Research Program conducts translational and clinical research into the causes, treatment, and prevention of lupus. In addition, the NIAMS funds and supports many researchers at universities and other organizations throughout the country who are studying lupus to better understand the cause, in hopes to prevent and cure the disease. Topics include:

  • Genetics. Several genes associated with lupus risk and severity have been discovered.
  • Sex differences. Researchers are trying to understand the biological bases for sex differences in immune and inflammatory systems to better understand why women are more likely than men to have the disease.
  • Biomarkers. Certain proteins or genes could help doctors predict flares in lupus and, in the future, response to specific treatments.
  • Disease processes. Researchers are exploring possible triggers for lupus.
  • Treatment. Scientists are exploring how lupus develops and how therapies affect the course of the disease. They are also exploring drugs to prevent or delay kidney failure, one of the most serious and life-threatening complications of lupus.

Experts are also collaborating to develop registries and working groups, such as:

  • The Lupus Family Registry and Repository, which gathers medical information as well as blood and tissue samples from patients and their relatives. This will help identify genes that make someone more at risk for the disease.
  • Lupus Federal Working Group, which gathers experts across various public health agencies, pharmaceutical companies, and professional organizations.
  • National Institutes of Health (NIH) Accelerating Medicines Partnership, which aims to reduce the time and cost of developing new diagnostics and therapies for autoimmune diseases, including lupus.

For more info

U.S. Food and Drug Administration

Toll free: 888-INFO-FDA (888-463-6332)

Drugs@FDA at is a searchable catalog of FDA-approved drug products. 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics

Website: (en inglés)

American College of Rheumatology

Website: (en inglés)

Autoimmune Association

Website: (en inglés)

Arthritis Foundation

Website: (en inglés)

Lupus Foundation of America

Website: (en inglés)

Lupus Research Alliance

Website: (en inglés)

If you need more information about available resources in your language or other languages, please visit our webpages below or contact the NIAMS Information Clearinghouse at You can also find a variety of information from organizations that are NIAMS Coalition Members.