Nov. 14, 2016

Top Lupus Researchers Recognized For Exceptional Acheivement

Top Lupus Researchers Recognized For Exceptional Acheivement

The Lupus Foundation of America today recognizes two leading scientists for exceptional achievement in lupus research . Dr. Dafna Gladman was honored with the Evelyn V. Hess Award; Dr. Vasileios Kyttaris received the Mary Betty Stevens Young Investigator Prize.

The Evelyn V. Hess Award

The Lupus Foundation of America established the Evelyn V. Hess Award in 2005 to honor Dr. Hess for her outstanding contributions to lupus research over the course of her long career. Dr. Hess passed away last year and her legacy lives on through this awards program. The award is given annually to a clinical or basic researcher whose body of work has advanced understanding of the pathophysiology, etiology, epidemiology, diagnosis, or treatment of lupus.

The winner of this year’s Hess award is Dafna Gladman, MD, who is a rheumatologist at the Center for Prognosis Studies, Toronto Western Hospital, Toronto Canada.  Dr. Gladman is co-director of the University of Toronto Lupus Clinic and has undertaken numerous and wide-ranging studies of the disease including genetic analyses, studies of morbidity and the development of an internationally-recognized activity index for lupus.  Dr. Gladman was a founding member of the Systemic Lupus International Collaborating Clinics (SLICC) group and was its first chair.   She was integral in the development of unique disease activity and damage indices, which continue to be used worldwide in lupus clinical trials.

The Mary Betty Stevens Young Investigator Prize

The Mary Betty Stevens Young Investigator Prize is awarded annually in recognition of exceptional achievements of an investigator in the early part of his or her career in lupus research, and as a tribute to Dr. Stevens' significant contributions to the field.

The winner of this year’s Mary Betty Stevens Prize is Vasileios Kyttaris, MD, who is an Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Kyttaris is director of the Beth Israel Lupus Patient Cohort which includes more than 200 patients and serves as the basis for numerous studies on lupus at Harvard Medical School.

Lupus is the cruel mystery, and research is the key to solving this mystery and ending its brutal impact. Years of disappointing results in lupus drug development suggest that a different approach is needed. Smarter research will generate faster progress.

We challenge what isn’t working and fund and support research that is most hopeful to uncover the causes of lupus, understand its progression, and accelerate the search for cures. We advance research by funding promising research, making clinical trials more efficient and effective, and rallying support to increase lupus research funding.

The Lupus Foundation of America’s National Board of Directors hosted the awards reception.