Newswise — (Kansas City, MO): The Vasculitis Foundation (VF) is funding a new, one-year study led by principal investigator, Jonathan Choy, Ph.D., from Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, British Columbia Canada.

The $50,000 study, “Immune regulation by IL-6 in Giant cell arteritis”, will focus on the way in which cytokine IL-6 activates T cell responses in Giant Cell Arteritis (GCA).

“We will study the potential mechanisms by which IL-6 affects immune responses in GCA by examining the relationship between IL-6 expression levels and features of T cell responses that are improperly controlled during the development of immune-mediated diseases,” explains Dr. Choy. “Our studies will have implications for the management of GCA by potentially providing insight into how IL-6 alters immune function in GCA and will form the basis for future studies that specifically inhibit the activity of IL-6 in patients.”

This study is one of three protocols funded in 2015 through the VF Research Program, which is supported by donations from supporters.

The Vasculitis Foundation collaborates with researchers around the world to fund the most promising vasculitis studies. The purpose of the VF Research Program is to provide one- or two-year seed grants to support pilot studies in quality research to improve the quality of life for patients with vasculitis and ultimately find the cause/s and cure for vasculitis.

Learn more about the VF’s Research Program at:

Since 1986, the Vasculitis Foundation has empowered patients through disease education, raising awareness of vasculitis in the general public and medical community, and funding research to determine the cause, develop more effective treatments, and discover a cure. The VF is committed to improving the lives of current and future patients and is positioned as the definitive resource for patients, family members, medical professionals and researchers seeking information about vasculitis.

For information about vasculitis and the Vasculitis Foundation visit