The findings will help push clinicians closer to personalized medicine for lupus sufferers.
Scientists have long known lupus has a strong genetic component, but there also must be environmental triggers to activate the disease.
The National Institutes of Health awarded the grants, which will fund research on autoimmune diseases and human exposure to anthrax.
Autoimmune diseases are conditions in which the immune system becomes unbalanced and turns on the body instead of protecting it.
Common symptoms of Sjögren’s syndrome include severe dry eyes and dry mouth, as well as fatigue, arthritis and memory problems.
OMRF scientist Patrick Gaffney has received a five-year, $3.1 million grant to investigate the underlying mechanisms that lead to lupus onset.