20:29 PM

LRA Announces Inaugural Awards Promoting Diversity in Lupus Research

The Lupus Research Alliance (LRA) announces the inaugural recipients of Career Development and Postdoctoral Awards to Promote Diversity in Lupus Research including HSS rheumatologists Ashira D. Blazer, MD, MSCI and Ruth Fernandez Ruiz, MD, MS.

Dr. Blazer received the Career Development Award to Promote Diversity in Lupus Research. She will build upon her preliminary research, which successfully separated lupus nephritis patients from non-lupus nephritis patients through the analysis of the sediment found in the lupus patient urine. The potential clinical use of the non-invasive urine-based test will be confirmed using a larger multi-national SLE patient group with African ancestry, which will provide a new opportunity to learn more about lupus nephritis in a high-risk and understudied patient group.

Dr. Fernandez Ruiz received the Postdoctoral Award to Promote Diversity in Lupus Research. She will investigate how permanent changes in our genetic makeup, called gene variants, influence lupus development and progression. By studying how genetic variants in the PRKG1 gene affect lupus, the research team may identify new biological pathways that could be targeted to reduce the inflammation in lupus patients caused by high levels of interferon alpha.

Read the full press release at Lupusresearch.org.