Kao Autoimmunity Institute and Scleroderma Program
The Kao Autoimmunity Institute and Scleroderma Program are dedicated to advancing the research, diagnosis and treatment of autoimmune diseases.
The Kao Autoimmunity Institute is committed to translational and clinical research that will advance the treatment of rheumatologic diseases. Funded by a $20 million gift from Dr. and Mrs. Min H. Kao and the Kao Family Foundation, the Kao Autoimmunity Institute is devoted to the comprehensive care of patients with rheumatic diseases, along with a distinct focus on clinical research, outreach, training and education.
The Kao Autoimmunity Institute brings together clinicians, investigators and allied health professionals from a variety of disciplines across Cedars-Sinai and its affiliated hospitals and care sites. The Kao Autoimmunity Institute envisions a far-reaching impact on patient health and clinical outcomes for autoimmune diseases.
An Innovative Approach to Treating Autoimmune Diseases
Autoimmune diseases, which affect an estimated 24 million people in the U.S., can strike any part of the body, resulting in a myriad of symptoms that can be difficult to diagnose. When the immune system becomes unbalanced, proteins or cells that would typically protect the body from harm become the attackers. This can result in a wide array of autoimmune diseases, including scleroderma, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, myositis and vasculitis. The complexity of these diseases can make diagnosis and treatment more challenging, thus the need for specialized research and targeted therapies to treat autoimmune conditions.
Every patient who visits the Kao Autoimmunity Institute will receive a thorough evaluation, which will integrate research and cutting-edge technologies into their personalized care and treatment plan. At the Kao Autoimmunity Institute, patients from around the world will have access to the latest treatment methods related to autoimmune diseases.
Specialized Scleroderma Program Led by Expert Team
Scleroderma is a chronic connective tissue disease that can affect the skin and other organs, including the heart and blood vessels, lungs, stomach and kidneys. An estimated 75,000 to 100,000 people in the U.S. have scleroderma, the effects of which can range from mild to life-threatening.
The Kao Autoimmunity Institute will have a dedicated Scleroderma Program to provide interdisciplinary and integrated care for scleroderma patients and to support research, outreach, training and education to help those with the disease. Led by an expert board-certified rheumatologist, the Scleroderma Program will focus on new approaches to treatment that promote the best patient outcomes and minimize adverse effects.
Accelerating Research for Autoimmune Diseases
While genetics can play a significant role in autoimmune diseases, they are often triggered by environmental factors. New research offers clues as to what triggers the onset and progression of these autoimmune diseases.
The Kao Autoimmunity Institute was established as a vital hub where investigators with expertise in clinical, translational and basic research can collaborate to advance our understanding of pathways to disease and disease expression. This can lead to the development of new therapeutic approaches to the treatment and, ultimately, the prevention of these autoimmune diseases.
At Cedars-Sinai, our physician-scientists are engaged in exploring alternative treatment methods, developing a better understanding of pathogens and studying how genes, blood and tissue samples can be used to predict complications and potentially offer personalized treatments in the future. Research is crucial to matching patients with autoimmune diseases to treatments most likely to be effective. The Kao Autoimmunity Institute aims to be a leader in advancing research and treatment for a broad spectrum of autoimmune diseases.