The Alliance for Lupus Research (ALR) is looking for answers. The not-for-profit organization was formed to fund research into the prevention, treatment, and cure of systemic lupus erythematosus (lupus or SLE). Lupus is a sometimes fatal autoimmune disease that causes pain and stiffness in joints, ligaments, tendons, and bones as well as kidney, heart, lung, and liver problems. The ALR is the largest source of private funds for lupus research (including a project to map the genetic makeup of at-risk people and targeted treatments for lupus). The group celebrated 10 years in existence in 2009.