Lupus Foundation of America Summer Fellowship Program Awards Grants to Six Young Scientists
The Lupus Foundation of America announces six recipients of the 2022 Gina M. Finzi Memorial Student Summer Fellowship Program, which provides grant and mentorship support to young scientists pursuing the lupus research field. The program plays an important role in cultivating future lupus researchers to ensure continued growth and progress among the next generation of scientists. The 2022 Finzi Fellowship Awardees will focus on important areas of lupus research ranging from genetics, cardiovascular risks, environmental factors and biomarkers.
“Research grants like the Lupus Foundation of America Gina M. Finzi Student Memorial Fellowship Program are an incredible opportunity to build awareness of lupus and the need for more research of the disease among young scientists,” shared Montserrat Anguera, PhD, 2022 Finzi Fellow Mentor. “The program is a great way to get students thinking of novel approaches to treat lupus that can be continued throughout their research career.”
Finzi awardees are mentored by an experienced lupus investigator. This critical component helps ensure young scientists receive support and guidance during their research as they establish themselves in the lupus research field.
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. The Finzi 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.
“The Lupus Foundation of America understands the importance of nurturing young scientists pursuing the field of lupus research, and the Gina M. Finzi Memorial Student Summer Fellowship Program provides not only critical research funding but the mentorship that is crucial to cultivating the lupus researchers of the future,” said Stevan W. Gibson, president & CEO, Lupus Foundation of America.
The research by the awardees will contribute to a wide range of important areas within lupus research:
Pennsylvania State University
Project Title: Evaluation of Genetic and Clinical Risk Scores to Enhance Incomplete Lupus Erythematosus (ILE) to SLE Progression Identification
Mentor: Dajiang J. Liu, Ph.D., MA, Professor and Vice Chair, Department of Public Health Sciences, Interim Director of Biomedical Informatics and Artificial Intelligence, Co-Chair of Bioinformatics and Genomics PhD Program, Penn State College of Medicine Co-Mentor: Nancy Olsen, MD, the H. Thomas and Dorothy Willits Hallowell Chair in Rheumatology, Penn State College of Medicine
Project Title: Increasing Regulatory T cells to Ameliorate Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
Mentor: Yina H. Huang, PhD, Dartmouth Geisel School of Medicine, Associate Professor of Microbiology and Immunology, and Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
Michigan State University
Project Title: Soluble Epoxide Hydrolase Inhibition: A Novel Approach for Suppressing Environmentally-Triggered Lupus
Mentor: James J. Pestka, Ph.D., Robert and Carol Deibel Family Professor, University Distinguished Professor, Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, Michigan State University
Upstate Medical University
Project Title: The role of HRES-1/Rab4-regulated CD38 expression in IL-2 depletion in systemic lupus erythematosus CD4+ T cells
Mentor: Andras Perl, MD, PhD, State University of New York Distinguished Professor of Medicine, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and Microbiology and Immunology; Vice Chair for Research, Department of Medicine Chief, Division of Rheumatology
University of Pennsylvania, Perelman School of Medicine
Project Title: How to assess the heightened 10-year risk for atherosclerotic cardiovascular events specifically in lupus patients? A comparison of published methods for estimating risk with actual events in a 10-year period in our established longitudinal lupus cohort
Mentor: Victoria Werth, MS, MD, Professor of Dermatology, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania
University of Pennsylvania
Project Title: Elucidating the role of DNA methylation in dynamic X Chromosome Inactivation and lupus disease development in female lymphocytes
Mentor: Montserrat Anguera, Ph.D., Department of Biomedical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania
Learn more about the 2022 Gina M. Finzi Memorial Student Summer Fellowship recipients, here.