CFI and the Dept. of Medicine are proud to announce the creation of a new Center for Autoimmune Diseases Research (CADRe) and a Pilot Grant Opportunity

December 1, 2017

We are very pleased to announce the creation of a new Center for Autoimmune Diseases Research. For the past three years, Dr. Dan Mueller and members of the Division of Rheumatic and Autoimmune Diseases at the University of Minnesota have been working to establish a new resource for Center for Immunology investigators, one which brings new attention to the growing need to take advantage of our outstanding research programs in animal-based model systems, and translate that same success into human-oriented autoimmune diseases research.

In this spirit, the Center for Autoimmune Diseases Research, or CADRe, was formed in collaboration with the Center for Immunology and Department of Medicine, in order to bring together University of Minnesota scientists and clinicians from a variety of backgrounds to form innovative collaborations, with the aim to conduct research that will lead to the cure of autoimmune diseases.

CADRe's goals are to expand and support:

    •  IRB protocol development and administration
    •  The recruitment of autoimmune diseases subjects into well-defined registries
    •  Collection, purification, and storage of immunologically relevant human biological samples
    •  Capture of clinical and research subject data within a centralized HIPAA-compliant RedCap database
    •  Human autoimmune disease biomarkers research and development
    •  The functional characterization of human ‘autoimmune disease’ gene alleles
    •  The identification and characterization of human disease-provoking lymphocytes
    •  The development of self-antigen specific immune-modulating protocols, using personalized diagnostic and therapeutic approaches

To achieve these goals CADRe will provide financial support to:

    •   Enlist Study Coordinator expertise in patient study recruitment as well as IRB application and renewal
    •   Oversee the input of research subject clinical information into the RedCap database platform
    •   Employ a dedicated Scientist who will develop the expertise in the design, production, and utilization of self-antigen tetramers and multi-parameter human immune cell flow cytometry/mass cytometry panels
    •  Provide support to barcode, process, and store human samples in our Biorepository and CaTissue sample registry

CADRe will support collaborative human autoimmune diseases research through:

    •   Organization of a monthly “Autoimmunity Discussion Group” wherein investigators will present their data to colleagues for discussion
    •   Creation of a autoimmune diseases database and CADRe website to serve as a clearinghouse for information related to research interests, expertise, grant awards, and publications
    •   Fundraising efforts to sustain the research program

Finally, CADRe will provide direct support for research through a new Pilot Grant Program. Each year, 2-3 pilot grants of up to $30,000 in direct dollars will be awarded to interested applicants in support for scientific personnel effort and supply costs for proposed human-oriented research projects. It is our most important goal to incentivize the development and implementation of these pilot projects that will test novel hypotheses in the areas of human autoimmune and chronic inflammatory diseases research. With success in this program, we anticipate that pre-clinical immune system investigators will undertake their first human-oriented research in the area of autoimmune diseases.

Our first round of pilot grant applications are currently open and will be due on December 8, 2017, with applicants notified of funding by December 31,2017, and funding beginning on January 1, 2018. Click here for an application for the pilot grant program, as well as an instructional guide, or please see our webpage for more details and instructions.

We hope you share our excitement about the formation and launch of this new research organization and will join us in our mission to realize a world without autoimmune diseases. We will be actively recruiting members to CADRe, and look forward to your participation in our CADRe Autoimmunity Discussion Group.

Daniel Mueller

Kristin Hogquist

Erik Peterson