The Lupus Foundation of America has announced two new staff appointments: Susan Manzi, M.D., MPH, the chief adviser of clinical development and the Lupus Foundation’s new medical director; and Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation member Joan T. Merrill, M.D., who will serve as chief adviser for clinical development.
Manzi is chair of medicine at Allegheny Health Network and co-founder and director of the Lupus Center of Excellence in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where she has served on the Lupus Foundation’s Board of Directors for nine years and is a member of the foundation’s Medical Scientific Advisory Committee.
Manzi’s work will be dedicated to shifting the drug development paradigm in lupus, including the development of a new instrument for use in clinical trials and clinical practice, as well as an online training program for physicians working on clinical trials and other innovative projects.
“On behalf of the Lupus Foundation of America, Dr. Merrill has made enormous contributions to advancing the science and medicine of lupus, having been our founding medical director for 12 years,” Lupus Foundation President and CEO Sandra C. Raymond said in a news release. “We look forward to working with her in this new role.”
The foundation is the only nationwide group focused on solving the mystery of lupus and providing support to those afflicted with the disease.
Manzi will be leading efforts to decrease current unmet needs concerning education and healthcare for lupus patients.
“We are thrilled that Dr. Manzi will be serving as our next medical director as she is widely recognized as a leader in lupus patient care and research and a pioneer in the scientific investigation of cardiovascular disease in people with lupus,” Raymond said.
According to the foundation, this work is expected to advance lupus science and medicine, as well as improve education programs and expand educational materials. Manzi will also be responsible for representing the foundation on policy matters affecting the health and quality of life for patients with lupus.
In addition, Manzi will work with Merrill, who is also a professor of medicine at the University of Oklahoma, on projects to decrease obstacles to developing therapies and provide access to lupus patients.
Image Credits: The Lupus Foundation of America