APS Program Update - February 2023
Read the new APS Program Update that includes our latest news and achievements, articles on two new research projects, APS 101 feature on pediatric APS, and a spotlight on one of our international visiting scholars. In addition, read about our path to recertifying as a sustainable lab and earning a platinum rating.
More APS Program Updates
Characterizing Diagnostic Delay in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus and Antiphospholipid Syndrome
Congratulations to Emily Balczewski, a graduate student in U-M's dual MD/PhD training program, who received funding from the Rheumatology Research Foundation for her proposal “Characterizing Diagnostic Delay in SLE and APS”. Read more.
APS Research Labs Earn Platinum Rating for Sustainability
Sustainability is a team effort, and the APS Research Labs hope to continue to reduce our waste production and energy use in 2023. Read more.
For APS Patients, Lab Results Don’t Always Paint the Full Picture
Led by former undergraduate student, Julia Weiner, our labs find that patients with APS have concerns about their ability to function normally, even when their blood work and clinical visits appear normal. Read more.
Community-Engaged APS Research Collaboration
We are excited to announce a new collaboration with two rehabilitation researchers, Dr. Susan Murphy and Dr. Alexandra Harper, who conduct community-engaged research that includes patients as partners in the research process to understand and develop solutions that meets patients’ needs beyond medications. Learn more and how you can participate.
Dr. Zuo Receives NIAMS K08 Award
Congratulations to Dr. Yu (Ray) Zuo who received a Career Development (K08) Award from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) to investigate the thromboinflammatory consequences of infection-induced autoimmunity. Read more.
Dr. Tambralli Receives ACR Distinguished Fellow Award
Congratulations to Ajay Tambralli, MD who received the 2022 American College of Rheumatology (ACR) Distinguished Fellow Award. Read more.
Small Wonder: Nanoparticles Feed Hydroxychloroquine to Activated Neutrophils
Neutrophils and platelets are two types of cells that contribute to blood clotting in APS. Naveen Kumar, PhD and Jason Knight, MD, PhD were asked to provide their thoughts on a recent research study on this topic. Read their brief review.
Antiphospholipid Syndrome: A 2022 Update
Dr. Ray Zuo provides a brief historical perspective on antiphospholipid syndrome, discusses clinical manifestations and current approaches to treatment, and also highlights studies on APS antibodies in COVID-19.
Congrats to Knight Lab UROP Students
Congratulations to Nikoo Alizadeh, Lyndsay Kluge, and Miela Zahavi who completed the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP) and gained valuable research experience in the Knight Lab. Read more.
Neutrophil Glucose Flux as a Therapeutic Target in Antiphospholipid Syndrome
Dr. Ajay Tambralli presents his research "Neutrophil Glucose Flux as a Therapeutic Target in Antiphospholipid Syndrome" at the 2022 Department of Internal Medicine Research Symposium.
Non-Criteria Manifestations of Pediatric APS Common Yet ‘Under-Recognized’
Dr. Jason Knight and Dr. Jacqueline Madison discuss their recent study on pediatric APS, treatments and outcomes, and the need for diagnostic criteria specific to younger patients. Read more.
Kids with Rare Autoimmune Disease Show These Symptoms Before Blood Clots
Dr. Jacqueline Madison and team discover that children with antiphospholipid syndrome (APS) experienced additional symptoms not formally associated with APS in adults. Read more.
Rogue Antibodies Make Cells “Sticky” to Trigger Blood Clots in COVID-19 Patients
Hui Shi, MD, PhD, former member of the Knight Lab, leads team in discovering that “rogue” antibodies found circulating in the blood of COVID-19 patients have the potential to cause cells to lose their resistance to clotting. Read more.
Targeting Metabolism in APS and Lupus
Dr. Ajay Tambralli was awarded a $225,000 grant from the Rheumatology Research Foundation to explore how the metabolism of neutrophils is altered in APS and lupus, with the goal of identifying smarter and more targeted therapies. Read more.
Internal Medicine Faculty Elected to the American Society for Clinical Investigation
Congratulations to Dr. Jason Knight, one of three Michigan Medicine Department of Internal Medicine faculty members to be elected into the distinguished American Society for Clinical Investigation for 2022. Read more.
Drug Made from Pig Intestine Helps Escape the “Trap” of Clot-Causing Immune Response
The lab and colleagues find that the drug defibrotide suppressed neutrophils from releasing NETs and also reduced downstream blood-clotting. Dr. Knight discusses how these findings could set the stage to better treat people with APS. Read more.
Amber’s Michigan Answer
Michigan Answers are found where over 100 years of teaching, research and patient care intersect with an endless curiosity and passion for changing patients’ lives for the better. Read how Dr. Knight helped to provide Amber's Michigan Answer.
Internal Medicine 2020 Annual Report - Exploring Neutrophil Extracellular Traps
Dr. Jason Knight reflects on how his lab, in collaboration with Dr. Yogen Kanthi's lab, took what they have learned about blood clotting in antiphospholipid syndrome and applied that knowledge to COVID-19 in the Internal Medicine 2020 Annual Report. Read the story.
Novel Autoantibody Adds Fuel to COVID-19 “Firestorm” of Inflammation, Blood Clots
Yu (Ray) Zuo, MD leads team in analyzing serum from over 300 hospitalized COVID patients and finds that those with higher levels of the autoantibodies were more likely to develop severe COVID symptoms. Read more.
COVID-19 Can Cause Autoantibodies Seen in Autoimmune Conditions: Here’s What We Know So Far
Dr. Jason Knight discusses research conducted by his and Dr. Yogen Kanthi's labs on autoantibodies and their role in COVID-19, and how research on this topic will hopefully lead to a better understanding of and caring for autoimmunity in patients. Read more.
Missing Link: Lingering Questions at the Intersection of COVID-19 and Autoimmunity
Jason Knight, MD, PhD, and other experts from across the country, discuss their insights and research on the association between autoimmunity and COVID-19. Read more.
Rheumatology Research Foundation Funds 5 COVID-19 Studies
The Knight Lab receives funding from the Rheumatology Research Foundation to delve deeper into their research on antiphospholipid antibodies and the role they play in COVID-19. Read more.
LRA-Funded Study Discovers Target to Lower Lupus Inflammation
In a new study led by Dr. Jason Knight, researchers find a way to block inflammation by targeting a key protein, IRE1α, found in immune cells that are active in lupus, known as neutrophils. Read more.
Fighting Back Against a Body That Attacks Itself
Dr. Ray Zuo to investigate how COVID-19 infection leads to an autoimmune-like response, with funding provided by the Arthritis National Research Foundation. Read more.
Research Group Identifies Potential Therapeutic Target for Lupus
Gautam Sule, PhD, Jason Knight, MD, PhD, and team find that inhibiting IRE1α, a molecule activated by the endoplasmic reticulum in neutrophils, counters disease progression in lupus mice. Read more.
From Mowing Lawns to the Research Lab: Southwood Grad Leads Study in Autoimmune Disease
Dr. Jason Knight discusses his current research, and the education and teachers he had while growing up that had an impact on him. Read more.
"Prothrombotic Autoantibodies in Serum from Patients Hospitalized with COVID-19", a collaboration between the Knight Lab and Kanthi Lab, was selected as one of 64 entries across the country to compete in this year's STAT Madness. Congratulations for making it to round #2!
JRNLclub with Dr. Ray Zuo
Yu (Ray) Zuo, MD explains prothrombotic autoantibodies in serum from patients hospitalized with COVID-19 on JRNLclub. Watch the video.
Lupus Foundation of America Mary Betty Stevens Young Investigator Prize
Jason Knight, MD, PhD is awarded the Mary Betty Stevens Young Investigator Prize for his significant contributions to research on lupus and its related cardiovascular complications including APS. Read more.
Prothrombotic Autoantibodies in Serum from Patients Hospitalized with COVID-19 Study
Research by the Knight Lab that found that 52% of 172 people hospitalized with COVID-19 had autoimmune antiphospholipid antibodies is featured in JAMA Network and Nature.
Subset of COVID-19 Patients Have Increased Bleeding Risk
A multidisciplinary team of Michigan Medicine researchers identify a potential clinical biomarker for high bleeding risk and poorer outcomes in COVID-19. Read more.
Ginger Counters Certain Autoimmune Diseases in Mice
Ramadan Ali, PhD and Jason Knight, MD, PhD discover that the main bioactive compound of ginger root helps halt disease progression in mice with antiphospholipid syndrome and lupus. Read more. Their research is highlighted in Nature Reviews Rheumatology: Getting to the Root of the Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Ginger.
Frontline Workers at Michigan Medicine Receive COVID-19 Vaccine
Jason Knight, MD, PhD, one of the first Michigan Medicine employees to get the vaccine, discusses the importance of people getting vaccinated when it becomes available to them. Watch the video on WDIV Local 4.
Research Featured on Three Journal Covers
Research by lead author, Yu (Ray) Zuo, MD, is featured on three journal covers in 2020. View the publications in JCI Insight, Science Translational Medicine, and Arthritis & Rheumatology.
Can Autoimmune Antibodies Explain Blood Clots in COVID-19?
The NIH-supported study, Prothrombotic Autoantibodies in Serum from Patients Hospitalized with COVID-19, is featured in the NIH Director's Blog. Read more.
New Cause of COVID-19 Blood Clots Identified
Yu (Ray) Zuo, MD; Yogen Kanthi, MD; and Jason Knight, MD, PhD find that a significant percentage of patients hospitalized with COVID were positive for autoantibodies that create blood clots. Read more.
Taubman Institute Supports First U-M Based COVID Study
Drs. Jason Knight, Yogen Kanthi, and Ray Zuo launch a clinical trial of a drug they believe may address the deadly blood clots that form in some patients with COVID-19. Read more.
UROP Blue Ribbon Awardee in the Knight Lab
Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP) student, Diane Chiang, was honored with the Blue Ribbon Award, given to students for having an exemplary capstone research poster and presentation. Read more.
Neutrophil Extracellular Traps (NETs) May Augur Severe COVID-19
Dr. Ray Zuo, Dr. Yogen Kanthi, and Dr. Jason Knight’s research that looked at the relationship between NETs and severe cases of COVID-19 is highlighted in The Scientist. Read more.
‘Spider-Man’ Immune Response May Promote Severe COVID-19
Clinical trials have begun to test drugs that counter toxic molecular webs linked to lung distress. Read more.
Higher Levels of NETs in Blood Associated with More Severe COVID-19
Ray Zuo, MD; Yogen Kanthi, MD; and Jason Knight, MD, PhD find a connection between destructive white blood cells and a more severe disease course in patients with COVID-19. Read more.
U-M Research Lab Opens to Explore New Treatment Targets for Patients with COVID-19
Yogendra Kanthi, MD and Jason Knight, MD, PhD were selected as recipients of the Frankel Cardiovascular Center “COVID-19: CV Impact Research Ignitor Grant”. Read more.
Rheumatology Research Foundation Investigator Award
Dr. Ray Zuo receives the Investigator Award, which is given to junior investigators in the period between completing post-doctoral fellowship training while being competitive for more significant funding and establishing themselves as independent investigators. Read more.
Rheumatology Research Foundation Edmund L. Dubois, MD Memorial Lectureship
Dr. Jason Knight is selected for the Edmund L. Dubois, MD Memorial Lectureship, which is given annually to an outstanding investigator in the area of lupus research. Read more.
Division of Rheumatology Spotlight - Dr. Ray Zuo
Ray Zuo, MD joined Michigan Medicine on November 1, 2019 as a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Division of Rheumatology. Dr. Zuo's focus is on Antiphospholipid Syndrome (APS) and is working on the APS Program with Dr. Jason Knight. Read more.
Lupus Research Alliance Target Identification in Lupus Grants Awarded
Jason Knight, MD, PhD is awarded a Lupus Research Alliance grant to study whether a stress-sensing protein spurs neutrophils to release NETs in patients with lupus. Read more.
Marvin and Betty Danto Research Professorship of Connective Tissue Research
Jason Knight, MD, PhD is named Marvin and Betty Danto Research Professor of Connective Tissue Research.
Q&A with New Research Fellow, Dr. Hui Shi
Hui Shi, MD, PhD is a new research fellow and the latest addition to Dr. Jason Knight’s lab. Prior to coming to Ann Arbor, Dr. Shi worked as a rheumatologist at Shanghai Ruijin Hospital, a well-known hospital in China. Read more.
Impeding White Blood Cells in Antiphospholipid Syndrome Reduced Blood Clots
A new study examined APS at the cellular level and found that two drugs reduced development of blood clots in mice affected with the condition. Read more.
Division of Rheumatology Spotlight - Dr. Jason Knight
Jason S. Knight, MD, PhD earned both his MD and PhD degrees from the University of Michigan, and completed the majority of his PhD thesis while at the University of Pennsylvania. Read more.
Lupus Research Alliance Announces Nine Promising Novel Research Grant Awards
Dr. Jason Knight receives grant to determine whether neutrophil elastase is a good target for the development of a new type of treatment for people with lupus. Read more.