Lupus Foundation of America Awards Five Summer Fellowship Grants to Young Scientists, Supporting Growth of Lupus Research Field
The Lupus Foundation of America announces five recipients of the 2023 Gina M. Finzi Memorial Student Summer Fellowship Program. This program supports mentored research experiences for outstanding undergraduate, graduate and medical students conducting lupus research. The program’s focus on young scientists is important for cultivating future lupus researchers and growth in the next generation. The 2023 Finzi Fellowship Awardees will focus on important areas of lupus research including cutaneous lupus, lupus and pregnancy, patient and clinician communication strategies, cognitive impairment, and understanding the disease and potential treatment pathways, with guidance from experienced mentors with a high level of expertise.
“The Gina M. Finzi Memorial Student Summer Fellowship program gives students early in their career the opportunity to conduct cutting edge research in the field of lupus,” shared Vikki M. Abrahams, PhD, Professor and Director, Division of Reproductive Sciences, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, Yale School of Medicine and 2023 Finzi Grantee Mentor. “The program helps students understand the importance of biomedical research to improve the understanding of lupus, the quality of care needed for patients with lupus and helps inspire them to become the next generation of scientists in the field.”
Throughout the Fellowship, Finzi awardees are mentored by an experienced lupus investigator. This mentorship is a critical aspect of the program as it helps ensure young scientists receive support and guidance during a critical time when they are establishing their path in the field of lupus research.
The Gina M. Finzi Memorial Student Summer Fellowship Program, established in 1984, was created to honor Gina M. Finzi, the late daughter of former Lupus Foundation of America President Sergio Finzi, PhD. Past recipients from the program have gone on to lead innovative and groundbreaking lupus research and have become distinguished lupus scientists.
“If we want the future of lupus research to be driven by innovation and new breakthroughs, we must invest in and nurture our young scientists,” shared Joy Buie, Ph.D, MSCR, RN, Director of Research at Lupus Foundation of America. “The Lupus Foundation of America’s Gina M. Finzi Memorial Student Fellowship Program shows our investment in the future minds that will transform lupus research. The program not only provides research funding but the mentorship that will continue to shape their future aspirations.”
The research conducted by the awardees will contribute to a wide range of important areas within lupus research:
University of Rochester/University of South Carolina College of Nursing
Project Title: Assessing and Improving Communication Among African American Individuals with Lupus
Mentor: Edith M. Williams, PhD, MS (Rochester); Robin M. Dawson PhD, APRN, CPNP-PC, FAAN (USC)
Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania Project
Title: Application of Novel Single-Cell Analysis Tools to Cutaneous Lupus Imaging Mass Cytometry Data
Mentor: Victoria P. Werth, MD
Yale School of Medicine
Project Title: Mechanisms of placental-vascular communication in obstetric antiphospholipid syndrome
Mentor: Vikki M. Abrahams, PhD
Krembil Research Institute, Toronto Western Hospital
Project Title: Comparing Subjective and Objective Cognitive Impairment Measures in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Relating to Health-Related Quality of Life
Mentor: Zahi Touma, MD, PhD, FACP, FACR
University of Alabama-Birmingham School of Medicine
Project Title: Increased mitochondrial complex I activity in females
Mentor: John D. Mountz, MD, Ph.D.
Learn more about the 2023 Gina M. Finzi Memorial Student Summer Fellowship recipients, here.