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Meet The Researchers

The scientists who worked tirelessly on SLEGEN represents some ofthe best and the brightest minds in genome research. Meet the people responsible for the success of this landmark study.

Co-Directors

Tim Vyse, PhD,
Tim Vyse, PhD is a Professor of Rheumatology at the Imperial College, London and a collaborator in the Human Lupus Genetics Study at Hammersmith Hospital. Dr. Vyse also is the Principal Investigator of the Genetics of Human Lupus, which houses one of the largest family DNA collections from single-case SLE families in the world. The collection is used to identify genetic variants that contribute to lupus.

Carl Langefeld, PhD
Carl Langefeld, PhD Dr. Langefeld is a statistical geneticist whose research efforts have always focused on helping to find prevention and treatment solutions for diseases that are caused or exacerbated by family heritage. His work as the Director of the Center for Public Health Genomics and co-Director of the Biomedical Informatics Program at Wake Forest University has led to important discoveries that link genetics to a number of medical conditions, including lupus. He has developed a class of regression-based tests, which assist in isolating and cloning disease-predisposing genes.

Members

Marta Alarcon-Riquelme, MD, PhD, is a Medical Doctor from Universidad LaSalle and Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. She completed her PhD in Immunology at Stockholm University and is currently a researcher of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and Associate Professor at the Department of Genetics and Pathology, Uppsala University, Sweden.

Timothy Behrens, MD is the Senior Director of Immunology, Diagnostics and Biomarkers at Genentech South, San Francisco, California. He received his medical degree from the Medical College of Wisconsin, where he also completed his fellowship in Rheumatology/Immunology. Behrens joined Genentech in 2006 to build a group of scientists who can develop treatments for lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.

Lindsey Criswell, MD, is Professor in Residence of Medicine, Division of Rheumatology, and Associate Director of General Clinical Research at her alma mater, the University of California at San Francisco. After receiving her medical degree from the University of California, San Francisco, Dr. Criswell completed a postdoctoral fellowship in Rheumatology at the same institution. Her research focuses on the genetics and epidemiology of human autoimmune disease.

Jeffrey C. Edberg, PhD, is Assistant Professor of Clinical Immunology & Rheumatology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. As a member of the leadership team of the UAB Pittman General Clinical Research Center, he has initiated and led efforts in Human Molecular Genetics. He is also involved in a number of NIH-funded studies exploring the genetic basis of human autoimmune diseases.

Stacey Gabriel, PhD, is Director of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard's Genetic Analysis Platform facility in Cambridge, Massachusetts. As principal investigator, Dr. Gabriel uses genome-wide association studies and new tools to measure environmental factors. These studies focus on determining if environmental exposures cause individuals to have increased risks in developing common diseases.

Patrick Gaffney, MD, Patrick Gaffney, MD, is a faculty member of the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation's Arthritis & Immunology Research Program. He received his medical degree in Oncology from the University of Minnesota. Dr. Gaffney's research interests focus on genomic analysis of head and neck cancer and oral pre-malignant lesions, hereditary colorectal cancer, and studies of genes that cause lupus.

Peter Gregersen, MD, is Investigator Head of the Robert S. Boas Center for Genomics and Human Genetics and the Director of the Eileen Ludwig Greenland Center for Rheumatoid Arthritis at North Shore Jewish Research Institute in Manhasset, New York. He and his colleagues has directed the world's largest effort to identify the genes underlying rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases.

“ALR is different...there are not many agencies that are focusing aggressively on bringing treatments from the laboratory to the bedside in a short time.”
-Robert Wood Johnson IV, Chairman, Board of Directors

Chaim Jacob, MD, PhD, is Associate Professor of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology at the Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles. His research efforts focus on the role of cytokines and cytokine receptors in the genetic tendency of certain diseases. In addition, his studies in molecular genetic linkage have helped to identify genes that predispose individuals to autoimmune conditions.

Ken Kaufman, PhD, is a Research Assistant Member of the Arthritis and Immunology Research Program at the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation and serves as Associate Professor at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. Kaufman is also Scientific Director of the Genotyping of DNA Sequencing Center for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Oklahoma. His research focuses on the molecular mechanisms in lupus pathogenesis.

Robert F. Kimberly, MD, is Senior Associate Dean for Research and Director of the University of Alabama, Birmingham Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Center. A rheumatologist and immunologist, Dr. Kimberly has expertise in autoimmune disease, including systemic lupus erythematosus, systemic vasculitis and rheumatoid arthritis. He establishes collaborative research groups in both clinical and translational studies.

Daniel Mirel, PhD, is a member of the Project Management team at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard's Genetic Analysis Platform facility. He serves as project manager for the facility's contribution to the Genes, Environment and Health Initiative, a NIH-supported research project aimed at conducting genome-scale analyses to pinpoint common genetic variants that underlie disease.

Kathy Moser, PhD, is a faculty member of the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation's Arthritis & Immunology Research Program, Tulsa. Dr. Moser oversees a clinic that focuses on Sjögren's syndrome, a chronic disease in which white blood cells attack the body's moisture-producing glands. With a PhD in Microbiology/Immunology, she also conducts lupus research.

John Rioux, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Medicine at the Université de Montréal and at the Montreal Heart Institute, where he works as a researcher and director of the Laboratory in Genetics and Genomic Medicine of Inflammation. He is also a visiting scientist at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. Dr. Rioux holds the Canada Research Chair in Genetics and Genomic Medicine of Inflammation.

Kimberly Taylor, PhD, is a Principal Statistician for the Department of Medicine/Rheumatology at the University of California, San Francisco. The department's research division is involved in defining the basic biochemical mechanisms that regulate normal immune responses and the genetic and environmental causes of autoimmune diseases.

Betty Tsao, PhD, is a Professor of Medicine and Adjunct Assistant Professor of Rheumatology and Arthritis at the University of California, Los Angeles. She is also a member of the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center Tumor Immunology Program. Dr. Tsao was the first person to link a specific human chromosome region to increased risk of developing lupus.

Raphael Zidovetzki, PhD, is a Professor of Cell Biology and Neuroscience at the University of Southern California, Riverside. In addition to his contributions to the SLEGEN project, Dr. Zibovetzki has also contributed to other research studies related to particular genes that contribute to tumor growth and HIV production.


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