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Fasenmyer Grant to Calabrese and Lederman Will Further the Interface Between Rheumatology and Virology

Two longtime collaborators studying HIV/AIDS at the Cleveland Clinic and Case Western Reserve University have received an $18.5 million grant from the Richard J. Fasenmyer Foundation.

Dr. Leonard Calabrese of the Clinic and Dr. Michael Lederman of Case were among the first researchers to study HIV in the early 1980s, and have been working together for more than 35 years. The Fasenmyer Foundation, named after the founder of Fairlawn-based RJF International Corp., has given more than $27 million over the past 24 years to the duo.

Calabrese, the director of the R.J. Fasenmyer Center for Clinical Immunology at the Clinic, is an immunologist and rheumatologist. Lederman, Co-Director for AIDS Research at the School of Medicine and University Hospitals Case Medical Center, is an internist specializing in infectious diseases.

The Fasenmyer Center at the Clinic and the foundation's grants over the years have supported work at the intersection between the two disciplines, Calabrese said.

"These two areas collide in ways that, 30 years ago, we were totally in the dark about," he said. "Today we see how infectious diseases contribute to autoimmunity in everything from atherosclerosis to diabetes and Alzheimer's disease."

The majority of the new grant will fund research in these overlapping research areas—including chronic fatigue syndrome, heart disease and others. It will also continue to fund Calabrese and Lederman's research on HIV/AIDS.

The author has no conflicts of interest to disclose related to this subject

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