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Beer to the Rescue

It’s Beer to the Rescue for People with Lupus

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2015 Charity campaign brings award-winning brewers together to
raise funds for the Lupus Foundation of Southern California

Thursday 11/19/2015 4:00 p.m.
Mother Earth Tap House 206 Main St. Vista CA 92081
Saturday 11/28/2015 4:00 p.m.
Fallbrook Brewing Co 136 N Main Ave. Fallbrook CA 92028
Saturday 12/5/2015
Bolt Brewery 8179 Center St La Mesa CA 91942
Friday 12/11/2105 5:00 p.m.
AleSmith Brewing Co. 9990 AleSmith Ct. San Diego CA 92126

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Carlsbad Marathon 2016

The Lupus Foundation is again partnering with the Tri-City Medical Center Carlsbad Marathon & Half Marathon on Sunday, January 17, 2016.  We are looking for Runners for TEAM LUPUS and Volunteers for the LUPUS WATER STATION to help bring awareness to Lupus and raise funds so we can continue our programs and services in the Southern California area. 

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Call for Lupus Warriors: Raise Awareness for Life Without Lupus

Whether you have lupus, have a loved one with lupus or simply want to help raise awareness, the Lupus Foundation of Southern California wants to hear from you!

We need Volunteers for our Lupus Water Station!  It is a fun job and will keep you busy for the time you will be volunteering.    Click on the logo and sign up to volunteer.  Look for Course Support Water Station – Lupus Foundation and sign up to volunteer for the job.

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Black Friday. Cyber Monday. #GivingTuesday!

We have a day for giving thanks. We have two for getting deals. Now, we have #GivingTuesday, a global day dedicated to giving back.

With generosity of heart, even a few dollars go a long way. Now that the holiday season is bursting upon us, we want to ask you to make a little room in your holiday budgets to celebrate what this season is really about: giving. Along with Black Friday and Cyber Monday, we are proud to bring you Giving Tuesday. Slated for Tuesday, December 1 this year, (the Tuesday after Thanksgiving) Giving Tuesday is a day to celebrate gifts small and large from ordinary people with extraordinary hearts who make donations from now, including Giving Tuesday till the end of the year. To find out how you can be counted,

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LRI Distinguished Innovator’s Discovery Could Result in Drugs to Reverse Autoimmune Attack

LRI Distinguished Innovator’s Discovery Could Result in Drugs to Reverse Autoimmune Attack

University of Texas Southwestern has just reported a major discovery by Dr. Zhijian “James” Chen, Professor of Molecular Biology and a recent recipient of the Lupus Research Institute’s (LRI) Distinguished Innovator (DI) Award.

With his Award from the LRI and other funding, Dr. Chen has identified a specific enzyme, cGAS, that when activated in mice “sounds the alarm” for the autoimmune system to attack --and then, when inhibited “rescues them” from the disease. According to Dr. Chen, this breakthrough should facilitate development of new drugs that would inhibit the cGAS enzyme and stop the autoimmune response. 

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The LRI’s Distinguished Innovator Award provides grants of up to $1 million to exceptional researchers worldwide like Dr. Chen who match scientific rigor with innovative vision. His work exemplifies the goal of the DI Award -- to find and fund the highly novel large-scale projects that can get to the root of lupus and advance treatments that could arrest or reverse disease.

UT Southwestern’s news release below describes these new findings from Dr. Chen and his team, and the potential to transform treatment for lupus and other autoimmune diseases:

Researchers identify an enzyme as a major culprit of autoimmune diseases

DALLAS – Activating an enzyme that sounds an alarm for the body’s innate immune system causes two lethal autoimmune diseases in mice, while inhibiting the same enzyme rescues them, UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers report.

The findings, published in the Oct. 20 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), could someday lead to new therapies for autoimmune diseases.

Photo: UT Southwestern researchers (l-r) Dr. Tuo Li, Daxing

Gao, and Dr. Zhijian “James” Chen.

“These results suggest that inhibition of the enzyme cGAS may be an effective therapy for autoimmune diseases such as Aicardi-Goutieres Syndrome (AGS) and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), which are linked to the same inflammatory pathway,” said senior author Dr. Zhijian “James” Chen, Professor of Molecular Biology and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) investigator at UT Southwestern.

In autoimmune diseases, the immune system turns against the body instead of protecting it. AGS is a rare genetic disorder that mainly affects the brain, while SLE can affect the skin, joints, kidneys, brain, and other organs. Neither disease has a cure, only treatments to control symptoms.

Dr. Chen said cGAS is likely amenable to inhibition by small-molecule drugs and that the recent determination of the high-resolution structures of cGAS should facilitate development of such inhibitors.

The work builds on two back-to-back studies the Chen lab published in Science in late 2012 that identified cGAS as a sensor of innate immunity – the body’s first line of defense against invaders. A commentary in the same issue of PNAS refers to the Chen lab’s identification of that long-sought sensor of DNA in the cytoplasm, the cell’s gel-like interior, as a “groundbreaking discovery.”

The Science studies described a novel cell signaling pathway that starts when cGAS detects foreign DNA, such as viral DNA, and sounds the alarm. That alarm sets off an inflammatory cascade that induces antiviral molecules, including a family of secreted proteins called interferons. The same elegant system can trigger autoimmune disease when self-DNA is inappropriately present in the cytoplasm, Dr. Chen explained.

The current study in PNAS examined TREX1, a protein that digests DNA in the cell’s interior. Loss-of-function mutations in the gene that codes for the TREX1 protein are linked to AGS and SLE in humans. Like humans, mice lacking TREX1 exhibit autoimmunity, inflammation, and elevated levels of interferons, the researchers report. When the researchers genetically inhibited cGAS in those mice, their symptoms disappeared.

“Even deletion of just one of the two genes for cGAS largely rescued the mice from the autoimmune disease,” said Dr. Chen, who also is an investigator in the Center for the Genetics of Host Defense and holder of the George L. MacGregor Distinguished Chair in Biomedical Science.

The researchers also studied mice genetically engineered to lack a DNA-digesting enzyme called DNase-II. While the resulting inability to degrade lysosomal DNA led to lethal autoimmunity, once again cGAS inhibition rescued the mice, the researchers report.

Graduate student Daxing Gao and postdoctoral researcher Dr. Tuo Li were the study’s lead authors. Other UT Southwestern researchers involved in the study were Dr. Xiao-Dong Li, a former Instructor in Molecular Biology who is now Assistant Professor at UT Health Science Center at San Antonio; Dr. Xiang Chen, a research scientist in Molecular Biology and a research specialist with the HHMI; Dr. Quan-Zhen Li, Associate Professor of Immunology and Internal Medicine; and Dr. Mary Wight-Carter, Assistant Director of the Animal Resources Center.

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General Donation
Make a donation in any amount to help support education, research and advocacy. With a minimum donation of $35 you will become a member of the Foundation.

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In Honor
Shopping for someone that has everything, make a donation in their name and LFSC will send your special someone a card recognizing their special event.

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Volunteer Opportunities
There are many special ways to be a part of the Lupus Foundation. All of our volunteers are special and needed. If you would like to help.

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LFSC's 2011 Volunteer
Congratulations to Gerardo Becerra who received LFSC's 2011 Volunteer of the Year Award last night at CHAD's (Combined Health Agencies) Volunteer of the Year Award Ceremony at San Diego's Hall of Champions.

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Orange Bracelet: "LIFE WITHOUT LUPUS" $2.00

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Purple T-shirt with multicolored butterfly that says: “Someone you know has Lupus.” $20.00

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If you are interested in membership with the Lupus Foundation of Southern California, please fill out the attached application and e-mail it to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or fax to (858) 278-2782.

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Support Groups

The Lupus Foundation offers several support groups around San Diego County and we are working on opening new groups in more areas.

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