New NIH center

The National Institutes of Health awarded a $6.5 million grant to the Medical Center to establish a center to improve treatment of autoimmune diseases.

Mohamad Rostami, M.D., Ph.D., professor of neurology and medicine, will be the director of the new Penn Center of Excellence for Autoimmune Disease, one of three NIH Centers of Excellence for auto-immune diseases in the country.

“Our goal for the center is to try to translate knowledge from basic science into clinical practice, focusing first on multiple sclerosis (MS) and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE),” Rostami said.

Explaining why Penn received the grant, he credited the strong basic science in immunology going on at Penn and the Hospital’s “long-standing standard of excellence in the management of patients with various autoimmune disorders.”

Approximately a year ago, Rostami and other Penn researchers discovered how to prevent relapses of an animal version of MS in mice. The study will soon include human MS patients.


Originally published on February 3, 2000