Skip to main content

Summer 2021 Gina M. Finzi Fellows

The Lupus Foundation of America awarded six individuals to receive the 2021 Gina M. Finzi Memorial Student Summer Fellowship Award.

The Finzi Fellows are spending their summer conducting research in areas that are critical to moving the lupus research field forward. The Finzi Fellows are mentored by an established lupus investigator throughout the duration of their research. The results of research by the awardees will contribute to new therapies, prevention strategies and educational interventions to better understand, detect and treat people with lupus.

This year’s fellows are:

Kristen Bricker

Penn State University College of Medicine
Study Title: miR-21 Regulation of Autoimmune Responses and Lupus Nephritis Development
Mentor: Zia Rahman, MD, PhD Penn State University, Associate Professor of Microbiology and Immunology

Seerat Chawla

University of Toronto
Study Title: Trajectories of Depressive Symptoms in Systemic Lupus Erythematous Over Time
Mentor: Zahi Touma, MD, Ph.D Assistant Professor of Medicine with the University of Toronto, Clinician-Scientist, Staff Rheumatologist with the University Health Network/Mount Sinai Hospital, adjunct scientist with the Institute for Work and Health and LFA MSAC member.

Claudia Lovell

School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania
Study Title: Defining X Chromosome Inactivation 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

Farnoosh Naderinabi

University of Western Ontario
Study Title: 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 the Rheumatic Diseases and the Lupus Clinic at the Toronto Western Hospital

Tiffany Taylor

University of California, San Francisco and the University of California, Berkeley
Study Title: 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 and the Alice Betts Endowed Professor of Medicine at the University of California San Francisco

Megan Zhao

Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania
Study Title: 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 and the Veteran’s Administration Medical Center, Professor of Medicine