New York City's S.L.E. Lupus Foundation is pleased to name the latest recipients of its Career Development and Basic Science Fellowships: Josephine Isgro, MD of Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS), Dipyaman Ganguly, PhD of Columbia University Medical Center, and Yi Yan, PhD of the Feinstein Institute at North Shore-Long Island Jewish (LIJ) Hospital.
These grants, totaling $420,000, push the S.L.E. Lupus Foundation's lifetime investment in New York City-based lupus research past $17 million-an unparalleled sum for private sector lupus research funding and investigator training in any single metropolitan area.
"The S.L.E. Lupus Foundation has been key in making New York City the nation's leader in lupus research and results that matter for people with this disease," said Bruce Cronstein, MD, of New York University, chairman of the S.L.E. Lupus Foundation's Medical Advisory Board.
Since 1977, the S.L.E. Lupus Foundation has distributed nearly 200 grants to more than 139 young scientists in the New York area to help ensure that the most talented and ambitious minds enter-and remain-in the field of lupus research, while building the city as a global center of discovery and care.
With their award funds, the three new grantees will work with mentors to explore potential treatments, and possible causes, for lupus:
- Dr. Isgro at HSS, a Brooklyn native, will explore with her mentor Alessandra Pernis, MD, PhD, a target for a new lupus therapy that uses statins, which are commonly known drugs for lowering cholesterol.
- Dr. Ganguly at Columbia University, under the supervision of Boris Reizis, PhD, will test the hypothesis that a newly identified gene is significant in regulating the cause and development of lupus.
- Dr. Yan at North Shore-LIJ and her mentor Betty Diamond, MD will dig deeper into recent Feinstein Institute discoveries regarding receptor editing in lupus, and aim to show how critical "affector" mechanisms lead to the production of damaging auto-antibodies in lupus.
"As a fellow, you are desperate to find support to stay in the lab," describes 2003 Career Development Award recipient Guillermina Girardi, PhD at the Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) in Manhattan. "But with the S.L.E. Lupus Foundation's grant you can take the risks and develop new areas of work. It's been really, really important to me."