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Innovative autoimmunity projects awarded £1 million of new funding

Our Connect Immune Research partnership, collaborating with The Lorna and Yuti Chernajovsky Biomedical Research Foundation, has funded ten new research projects to identify the underlying causes of autoimmune diseases and generate new treatments.

These 12-month pilot projects will explore how to target pathways common to the development of multiple autoimmune diseases to increase our understanding and generate new treatments. The ultimate aim of this initiative is to deliver significant new investment to confront the UK’s high prevalence of autoimmunity and develop new treatments for multiple autoimmune conditions, faster.

The studies funded by this initiative will take a number of approaches to increase our understanding of autoimmunity and how to treat it including:

  • Examining the genetics of autoimmunity
  • Looking for potential new immunotherapy treatments for autoimmunity
  • Analysing how gut health might affect autoimmunity
  • Building knowledge of how different types of immune cell are involved in the development of autoimmune conditions

Find out more about the projects funded

This first round of pilot grants aims to quickly develop proof of principle for potential new treatments for multiple autoimmune conditions by examining similarities between the different diseases. On completion, the most promising projects will be invited to apply for follow-on funding to take their work forward.

Dr Doug Brown, Chief Executive of the British Society for Immunology, said:

“Immunology is a vital branch of medical science in which the UK leads the world with new discoveries. Connect Immune Research has joined forces with the Lorna and Yuti Chernajovsky Biomedical Research Foundation to fund these innovative projects that prioritise a collaborative, integrated approach to autoimmune research. By building on the UK’s existing strength in autoimmune research, we aim to bring together the best brains in immunology to study different autoimmune diseases together, driving forward our understanding of the underlying biological mechanisms and developing new treatments, which will ultimately transform the lives of people living with these conditions.” 

Professor Yuti Chernajovsky, co-founder and trustee of the Lorna and Yuti Chernajovsky Biomedical Research Foundation, said:

“The Chernajovsky Foundation is delighted to be funding these innovative translational research projects with our Connect Immune Research partners, which we hope will improve the lives of people living with autoimmune conditions. We look forward to seeing the projects develop as part of a new collaborative approach to research on autoimmunity.”

Find out more

  • Read the press release on this announcement here
  • For any media enquires, please contact BSI Director of External Affairs, Jennie Evans

Thank you to all those who applied. We appreciate the time and effort that goes in to making an application. A big thank you too to all the reviewers and panel members from the research and PPI communities who contributed to the assessment of these proposals.

About us

The Lorna and Yuti Chernajovsky Biomedical Research Foundation was set up in 2019 to improve public health by providing grants to support high-quality biomedical research into the development of new targeted biomedical therapies. 

Connect Immune Research is a partnership of charities who are dedicated to tackling autoimmune conditions. Members include the type 1 diabetes charity JDRFVersus ArthritisMS SocietyBritish Society for ImmunologyAlopecia UKCoeliac UKPsoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis Alliance and Bowel Research UK


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