Lupus Foundation of America Provides Six Grants to Young Scientists Supporting Important Lupus Research
Today, the Lupus Foundation of America announced six recipients of the 2021 Gina M. Finzi Memorial Student Summer Fellowship Program. The fellowship program provides grant and mentorship support for young scientists and plays an important role in establishing the next generation of lupus researchers and the future of the lupus research field. Each researcher will focus on important areas of study ranging from focuses on lupus nephritis to mental health.
“More needs to be done to attract bright students to consider research related to lupus care and advancing the understanding of the disease, and the Gina M. Finzi Memorial Student Summer Fellowship Program does just that,” shared Victoria Werth, MD and 2021 Finzi Fellow Mentor. “Early experiences can be very pivotal for students considering lupus as a future career choice. Through this grant program, students have that opportunity to gain those early experiences while also having the important mentorship needed to make their research a success.”
Each 2021 Finzi awardee is mentored throughout their research project by an experienced lupus investigator, a critical component ensuring that the young scientists receive support and guidance as they establish themselves in lupus research.
The Gina M. Finzi Memorial Student Summer Fellowship Program has supported the work of nearly 200 young scientists in North America. Past recipients from the program have gone on to lead innovative and groundbreaking lupus research and have become distinguished lupus scientists in the field. The Finzi program, established in 1984, was created to honor Gina M. Finzi, the late daughter of former Lupus Foundation of America President Sergio Finzi, PhD.
“The future of lupus research depends on young scientists pursuing the field, and that is why the funding and support from the Gina M. Finzi Memorial Student Summer Fellowship Program plays such an important role in inspiring and cultivating our lupus researchers of the future,” said Stevan W. Gibson, president and CEO, Lupus Foundation of America.
The research by the awardees will contribute to a wide range of areas within lupus research ranging from mental health of people with lupus and disease management, to the use of biomarkers to predict treatment response, and furthering the understanding of lupus.
Penn State College of Medicine
Research: miR-21 Regulation of Autoimmune Responses and Lupus Nephritis Development
Mentor: Ziaur Rahman, MD, PhD Penn State College of Medicine, Associate Professor of Microbiology and Immunology
University of Toronto
Research: Trajectories of Depressive Symptoms in Systemic Lupus Erythematous Over Time
Mentor: Zahi Touma, MD, Ph.D Associate Professor of Medicine with the University of Toronto; Clinician-Scientist, Staff Rheumatologist, University Health Network/Mount Sinai Hospital, and LFA MSAC member.
Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania Defining X Chromosome Inactivation Research: Maintenance and Escape in Age-Associated B Cells
Mentor: Montserrat Anguera, Ph.D. Associate Professor, Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine
University of Western Ontario
Research: Interferon Alfa as a Biomarker to Predict Lupus Nephritis Response to Treatment
Mentor: Murray B. Urowitz, MD, FRCPC, Professor of Medicine at the University of Toronto and Director of the Centre for Prognosis Studies in Rheumatic Diseases and the Lupus Clinic at the Toronto Western Hospital
University of California, San Francisco and University of California, Berkeley
Research: Causes of Death Among Minority Populations with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
Mentor: Jinoos Yazdany, MD, MPH, Chief of the Division of Rheumatology at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital; Alice Betts Endowed Professor of Medicine at the University of California San Francisco
Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania
Research: Assessing the Management of Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease (ASCVD) Risk Factors in Cutaneous Lupus Erythematosus (CLE) Patients
Mentor: Victoria P. Werth, M.D, Chief of Dermatology, Philadelphia V.A. Hospital; Professor of Dermatology at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania; Professor of Medicine, Veteran’s Administration Medical Center
To learn more about the 2021 Gina M. Finzi Memorial Student Summer Fellowship award recipients, click here.