The Lupus Foundation of America (LFA) seeks grant applications from researchers to address the gaps in medical research that exist in key areas of lupus research. These areas have traditionally been underfunded by other public or private sources and include: cutaneous (skin) lupus, pediatric lupus, stem cell transplantation, and neuropsychiatric lupus, which affects the brain and nervous system.

The LFA's national research program, Bringing Down the Barriers™, provides direct funding for researchers at universities and medical institutions nationwide. The LFA is the only national organization to launch the first-ever pediatric research program through its Michael Jon Barlin Pediatric Research Program, which was established with the generous support of the Wallace H. Coulter Foundation. There is a special urgency associated with research on pediatric lupus. Lupus in children tends to be more severe and often involve multiple organ systems. Children with lupus have special needs related to the long-term impact of drug treatments, the social and psychological impact, and successful transitions to adolescence and adulthood.

New this year, is funding for cutaneous (skin) lupus. Approximately two-thirds of people with lupus will develop some type of skin disease or cutaneous lupus. Of special interest is research aimed at advancing the understanding of disease mechanisms, biomarkers, or improvements upon treatment and outcomes.

The LFA is also accepting applications for its Gina M. Finzi Memorial Student Summer Fellowship Program, which seeks to foster an interest in lupus research among students under the supervision of an established investigator. Named after the daughter of former LFA President Dr. Sergio Finzi, the Gina M. Finzi Memorial Student Summer Fellowship Program has supported the work of approximately 200 young investigators since it was founded in 1984. Undergraduate, graduate, and medical students are eligible to apply; however, preference is given to students with a college degree.

Binding letters of intent must be submitted by March 15, 2011. Online applications must be submitted by April 29, 2011. Applications for the Gina M. Finzi Memorial Student Summer Fellowship Program do not require a letter of intent and are due March 31, 2011. The LFA uses an electronic grant submission process and all interested grant applicants should submit their letters of intent and proposals via proposalCENTRAL here. For more information and application instructions, visit wwhere.

LFA's National Research Program