Frequently Asked Questions

What does "CADRe" stand for?

"CADRe" is the acronym for the newly founded Center for Autoimmune Diseases Research located at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus.

What is Autoimmune Disease?

Autoimmune Disease is defined by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) as "a disease that results when the immune system mistakenly attacks the body's own tissues." Essentially, an issue with the immune system results in it incorrectly identifying your body's own healthy cells as invaders and then signaling your body to defend itself against them, thus causing damage to your own system.

Autoimmune diseases can affect almost any part of the body, including the heart, brain, nerves, muscles, skin, eyes, joints, lungs, kidneys, glands, the digestive tract, and blood vessels.
Currently, researchers are still unsure about what exactly causes autoimmune diseases. In many cases, a combination of elements such as a genetic predisposition along with an outside trigger or environmental factor is most likely the origin. At CADRe, researchers are working toward providing a greater understanding of where autoimmune diseases come from, along with better ways to treat and even prevent them.

How many people are affected by Autoimmune Disease?

An estimated number of 50 million people are affected by some form of autoimmune disease in the United States alone – around 15% of the total American population.

What is "CADRe"?

CADRe is a collection of scientists, researchers, and clinicians who are dedicated to find a cure for autoimmune diseases through collaboration across disciplines. Primarily housed at the University of Minnesota's Biomedical District, CADRe brings together scientists from a number of different disciplines, who all have a research focus or interest in the immune system as it relates to different diseases, such as diabetes, lupus, arthritis, or even cancer.

What kinds of autoimmune diseases are CADRe staff currently researching?

Currently, a number of CADRe researchers are focusing their efforts on examining Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE), Scleroderma/Systemic Sclerosis, Vasculitis, and Type I Diabetes.

Why is CADRe unique?

One of the main goals in founding CADRe is to bring together researchers from a variety of different disciplines in order to find a common thread of science running through the causes of autoimmune disease and then translate that discovery into more effective results that apply to multiple diseases.

Our goal is to foster interactions between physicians and scientists with any connections to autoimmune-related disorders, and to nurture those connections to grow into purposeful, human-based research projects that can produce useful therapies to deliver to patients.

What are CADRe's goals for growth in the next five to ten years?

While our ultimate goal is to find a cure for autoimmune disease, we understand that it may take us some time to achieve. For the foreseeable future our focus remains on developing new technological tools that will make human-based research projects a real possibility for interested scientists not only at the University of Minnesota but in other parts of the country as well.
We are also currently working to build a biorepository of clinical samples, and a database with information regarding those samples, through our Human Immune Biomarkers Core program. It is our hope that this infrastructure will support the human-based research interests of a wide range of scientists by providing services for patient recruitment, sample processing, storage and tracking of biospecimens, experimental data generation, and bioinformatics support to aid researchers in analysis and interpretation of their human biomarker data.

How can I support CADRe?

There are a number of ways that you can contribute to helping CADRe find a cure for autoimmune diseases.

  • Follow us on our website, our Facebook page, or on Twitter! Share our message with others you know who would be interested to learn more about what we do. The more people we can reach means the more we can spread awareness regarding autoimmune disease and work together to find a cure.
  • Attend one of our educational events! Our researchers at CADRe are dedicated to keeping the public informed about autoimmune diseases and the work they are doing to research, prevent, and ultimately cure each of these disorders. Take a look at our events page to keep up with the latest happenings at CADRe.
  • Donate! Please see our donation page to find out more about contributing to finding a cure at CADRe.