Connect Immune Research has launched a first-of-its-kind research project to confront the UK’s high prevalence of autoimmune conditions. Professor Yanick Crow, of the University of Edinburgh, has been awarded the first research grant from Connect Immune Research. He will be working with specialists from across different conditions to understand the role of an immune system protein, named interferon, in autoimmunity.
Connect Immune Research is a collaboration between JDRF, MS Society and Versus Arthritis with support from the British Society for Immunology. The group estimates four million people in the UK are living with an autoimmune condition – which is more than 6% of the population, including 400,000 people with Type 1 diabetes, over 100,000 living with multiple sclerosis (MS) and more than 400,000 with rheumatoid arthritis. Interferon can be harmful or beneficial in different autoimmune diseases, but it is not yet understood why. This study will use laboratory tests to understand the role of interferon in autoimmunity and the team hope it will lead to better, more targeted treatments.
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