Lupus Foundation Announces 2019 Research Fellows

Lupus Foundation Announces 2019 Research Fellows

The Lupus Foundation of America’s (LFA) Gina M. Finzi Memorial Student Summer Fellowship Program aims to cultivate the next generation of lupus researchers. This year, six new members are well on their way.

The students’ projects focus on scientific areas including genetics, lupus nephritis, disease education, and neuropsychiatric lupus.

”The Gina M. Finzi Memorial Student Summer Fellowship Program is an incredibly important grant opportunity. It helps motivate and initiate young generations of students into lupus research, a field that must continue to grow,” Christina Drenkard, MD, PhD and mentor to a 2019 program fellow, said in a press release.

”This program provides students with a rich, hands-on experience by conducting their own study during the summer. It’s a unique opportunity for these young scientists, and elevates lupus research early in their education,” Drenkard said.

The fellows are spending their summer exploring areas vital to the field’s advancement. Their work is expected to contribute to new treatments, prevention strategies and educational solutions to better understand, detect, and treat lupus, a systemic autoimmune disease that occurs when the body’s immune system attacks tissues and organs. Each fellow is mentored by an established lupus researcher.

The 35-year-old program, named after the late daughter of former LFA president Sergio Finzi, has supported some 200 young investigators across North America, many of whom have become prominent lupus scientists.

This year’s fellows are:

“We are committed to ensuring the lupus research field is growing, and that means investing in young scientists with an interest in lupus research,” said Stevan W. Gibson, the LFA’s president and CEO. He called the program “an unparalleled opportunity that makes it possible for students pursuing their education to advance their lupus research career path.”

The LFA estimates that lupus affects at least five million people — mostly women — globally, including 1.5 million U.S. residents.

Mary M. Chapman began her professional career at United Press International, running both print and broadcast desks. She then became a Michigan correspondent for what is now Bloomberg BNA, where she mainly covered the automotive industry plus legal, tax and regulatory issues. A member of the Automotive Press Association and one of a relatively small number of women on the car beat, Chapman has discussed the automotive industry multiple times of National Public Radio, and in 2014 was selected as an honorary judge at the prestigious Cobble Beach Concours d’Elegance. She has written for numerous national outlets including Time, People, Al-Jazeera America, Fortune, Daily Beast, MSN.com, Newsweek, The Detroit News and Detroit Free Press. The winner of the Society of Professional Journalists award for outstanding reporting, Chapman has had dozens of articles in The New York Times, including two on the coveted front page. She has completed a manuscript about centenarian car enthusiast Margaret Dunning, titled “Belle of the Concours.”
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Inês holds a PhD in Biomedical Sciences from the University of Lisbon, Portugal, where she specialized in blood vessel biology, blood stem cells, and cancer. Before that, she studied Cell and Molecular Biology at Universidade Nova de Lisboa and worked as a research fellow at Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologias and Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência. Inês currently works as a Managing Science Editor, striving to deliver the latest scientific advances to patient communities in a clear and accurate manner.
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Mary M. Chapman began her professional career at United Press International, running both print and broadcast desks. She then became a Michigan correspondent for what is now Bloomberg BNA, where she mainly covered the automotive industry plus legal, tax and regulatory issues. A member of the Automotive Press Association and one of a relatively small number of women on the car beat, Chapman has discussed the automotive industry multiple times of National Public Radio, and in 2014 was selected as an honorary judge at the prestigious Cobble Beach Concours d’Elegance. She has written for numerous national outlets including Time, People, Al-Jazeera America, Fortune, Daily Beast, MSN.com, Newsweek, The Detroit News and Detroit Free Press. The winner of the Society of Professional Journalists award for outstanding reporting, Chapman has had dozens of articles in The New York Times, including two on the coveted front page. She has completed a manuscript about centenarian car enthusiast Margaret Dunning, titled “Belle of the Concours.”
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