Lupus Foundation of America Recognizes Scientists for Exceptional Contributions in Lupus Research
The Lupus Foundation of America (LFA) is pleased to honor two leading scientists for their notable contributions to lupus research at the 2022 Evelyn V. Hess Reception held during the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) convergence 2022 meeting this evening in Philadelphia, PA. The LFA will present the Evelyn V. Hess Award to Eric Morand, MBBS, PhD, Monash University and the Mary Betty Stevens Young Investigator Prize to Joyce Chang, MD, MSCE, Boston Children’s Hospital BCH and Harvard Medical School.
Honoring Dr. Morand for Exceptional Impact and Dedication to Advancing the Field of Lupus Research
The Evelyn V. Hess Award was established in 2006 and is given annually to recognize the outstanding contributions of a clinical or basic science researcher whose body of work has advanced the understanding of the science of lupus treatment.
Dr. Morand is Head of the School of Clinical Sciences at Monash University and Director of Rheumatology at Monash Health. His clinical research focuses on systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), including clinical measurement, outcome predictors, and biomarkers. Dr. Morand founded the Monash Lupus Clinic, Australia’s first multidisciplinary research-focused clinic for lupus. This laid the foundation for the Australian Lupus Registry and the Asia Pacific Lupus Collaboration, now among the largest longitudinal cohorts of SLE patients ever assembled.
He led the development of the Lupus Low Disease Activity State (LLDAS) treat-to-target endpoint, and currently leads an international consortium to redesign outcome measures for SLE trials. He was also principal investigator of the TULIP2 trial of the IFN receptor antibody anifrolumab, resulting in its regulatory approval for the treatment of SLE.
“It’s a great honor to receive the recognition of the Evelyn V. Hess Award from the Lupus Foundation of America and my peers, and it makes me want to redouble my efforts in our field,” shared Dr. Morand. “As a physician for 30 years, I have observed how other autoimmune diseases have had incredible revolutions in treatment and patient outcomes, and the lack of a similar revolution in lupus in the same period affects me profoundly. However, we’ve seen great progress in recent years, and the bravery of our patients inspires me to do all I can to help the future of lupus be different from the past.”
Honoring Dr. Joyce Chang for Notable Contributions
Established in 2009, the annual Mary Betty Stevens Young Investigator Prize recognizes the remarkable accomplishments of an investigator in the early stages of their lupus career and memorializes Dr. Stevens’ outstanding contributions to lupus research throughout her career.
Dr. Joyce Chang, pediatric rheumatologist and Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Boston Children’s Hospital (BCH) and Harvard Medical School, has focused her research on cardiovascular health assessment and prevention in childhood-onset lupus. Very little is known about early cardiovascular disease in children, and Dr. Chang has diligently studied the use of non-invasive techniques to assess cardiac function and subclinical atherosclerosis in children with lupus. As a past winner of the LFA’s Gary S. Gilkeson Career Development Award, Dr. Chang used the funding to identify novel screening tools for cardiovascular risk stratification in the pediatric population, including assessment of nocturnal blood pressure abnormalities and myocardial strain.
Dr. Chang has also led research in some of the most challenging problems in both pediatric and lupus care, including medication adherence, transition from pediatric to adult care, care quality, and health equity. She also co-leads a Transition Workgroup, and serves on the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee in the Childhood Arthritis and Rheumatology Research Alliance.
“I have long looked up to the previous recipients of the Lupus Foundation of America’s Mary Betty Stevens prize, and it’s an honor to receive it,” shared Dr. Chang. “I see so much potential in the children and teens that I care for. Some of them embrace living with lupus, while others still struggle. I want each of them to have the opportunity to reach their fullest potential, and whatever knowledge through research that can help us achieve that is worth pursuing.”
During the event, recipients of the Evelyn V. Hess Award and Mary Betty Stevens Young Investigator Prize for 2021 and 2020 will also be honored as an awards reception was not held during those years due to the coronavirus pandemic.