DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): The RFA states: "The overall goal of the AMP RA and Lupus Network (Network) is to define shared and disease-specific biological pathways in order to identify relevant drug targets for the treatment of RA, lupus and related autoimmune diseases. Towards achieving this goal, a unique and novel infrastructure will be established, that uses a collaborative trans-disciplinary, integrated team science approach, to test high impact ideas that will: lay the foundation for a new and comprehensive understanding of mechanisms driving disease; stimulate early and applied research on cutting-edge technologies; and, advance the research enterprise by accelerating the discovery of disease pathways involved in autoimmune diseases." Our AMP RA and Lupus Network Leadership Center (LC) will enable all of these deliverables to be met. The goal of our LC is to establish a creative, nimble, and highly interactive group composed of leading scientists from throughout the United States (24 institutions across 14 States) and internationally - each with overlapping expertise in
basic, clinical and translational research; technology invention, development, and implementation; unique bioinformatics and statistical methodology; and extensive interactions with biotechnology companies, pharmaceutical industry, disease foundations, NIH, and academic institutions. We have created a distributive model of leadership that takes advantage of the strengths of each of the participating investigators and centers, a model that we believe is
necessary to complete the missions set forth in the AMP RFA. We will build a highly-functional infrastructure to meet not just the goals stated in the RFA, but to enable discoveries to be made that are truly transformative in RA and SLE, and are applicable to dozens of other autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. Very importantly, our proposal is not to create a model and infrastructure that will end in 2019, but rather to leverage this model to build a sustainable program that will accelerate discoveries in other disease areas, through funding from NIH, corporate partners, foundations, and philanthropy. The LC includes an LC Research Coordination, Management and Statistics Program (LCMP), a Systems Biology Research Group (SBG), and a Tissue Acquisition Research group (TRG), all of which are integrated and led by qualified faculty.