Susan Manzi Receives National Lupus Advocacy Award

Isaura Santos avatar

by Isaura Santos |

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Susan Manzi, Chair of the Department of Medicine at Allegheny Health Network, was recently presented with the Lupus Foundation of America’s (LFA) National Advocacy Leadership Award.

The LFA awarded those with exquisite and distinguished researched who lead and support biomedical innovation to accelerate the development of novel treatments for illnesses such as lupus.

Industry leaders, federal agencies, Congress and the research community itself engaged in an exclusive “Capitol Conversation on 21st Century Cures”, moderated by Chuck Todd. Led by Congressman Fred Upton, the 21st Century Cures intends to advance new treatments and cures with the potential to address lupus and other diseases. As such, they have provided the National Institutes of Health (NIH) $10 billion in funding, established a public-private collaboration to reunite data and improve knowledge on the disease and are supporting patient-focused drug advancement, while modernizing the way clinical trials are designed and reviewed.

“There is a growing exodus of physician scientists from academia because of diminishing funding from the NIH. Similarly, it takes more than 10 years and $2.6 billion to move potential therapeutic agents through development and still only about 10% will be approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Chairman Upton’s 21st Century Cure Act addresses many of these issues and will help ensure that great science can see the light of day. It is truly an honor to work closely with the Lupus Foundation of America and other professionals who are aligned with its mission on this critical initiative,” said Dr. Manzi.

Dr. Manzi is a rheumatologist and has a special interest in autoimmune diseases. She played has developed innovative research to find the best practices to improve the way patients with autoimmune diseases are treated.

Dr. Manzi who founded the Lupus Center of Excellence helped to create a new, more accurate and easy blood test that assists clinicians to preform a lupus diagnosis. The Avise-SLE became commercially available in 2012 and uses a patient blood sample to look for 5 different bio-markers, deciding on the veracity of a systemic lupus erythematosus diagnosis and ruling out other rheumatic diseases.