2019 Lupus Luminary Luncheon for Science Celebrates Women of Achievement for Lupus Awareness Month
2019 Lupus Luminary Luncheon for Science Celebrates Women of Achievement for Lupus Awareness Month

NEW YORK, NY – May 7, 2019. The 10th annual Lupus Luminary Luncheon for Science honored the accomplishments of luminaries transforming lupus and other arenas. Campbell Brown, VP of Global News Partnerships at Facebook was recognized as a Woman of Achievement and lupus research supporter. This year’s Woman of Achievement in Clinical Research Award went to exceptional scientist and beloved physician, Anca Askanase, MD, MPH.

Dr. Askanase is Director of the Columbia University Lupus Center and serves on the Steering Committee of the Lupus Clinical Investigators Network (LuCIN) created by Lupus Research Alliance affiliate Lupus Therapeutics.

In accepting her award, Dr. Askanase commented, “I am dedicated to helping my patients overcome the many challenges lupus presents, but more treatments and a cure are urgently needed. The work the Lupus Research Alliance supports is critical in the path to new drug development, and volunteers are needed to participate in clinical research testing potential treatments.”

Sharing her experiences as a professional woman, Ms. Brown noted how inspired she was by all the women in the room. “I’m so deeply moved by your resilience, your strength and persistence.  Whatever your dream, if you hang in there and believe in yourself, it can happen.”

The interview with Ms. Brown was conducted by John Schiumo, VP of Communications and Public Affairs, Global Strategy Group. The iconic luncheon  was held once again at landmark hotel, The Plaza. Guests and visitors to the website, LupusResearch.org enjoyed opportunities to bid in a silent auction featuring handbags donated by top designers and enter a drawing for the highly exclusive Hermes Kelly bag.

“Celebrating its tenth anniversary, this signature event has raised millions for lupus research,” noted Lupus Research Alliance CEO and President, Kenneth M. Farber. “It has always spotlighted the achievements of women who excel in their field. This year, we are emphasizing the contributions to innovation and entrepreneurial spirit that align with the mission of the Lupus Research Alliance.”

Also recognized at the luncheon were people with lupus who go above and beyond to raise awareness of the disease among their communities by participating in events, fundraising, advocacy, speaking engagements and social media: Candy Brown, Shanelle Gabriel, Amanda Greene, Tiffany Peterson, and Brittany Salazar.

Past Women of Achievement served as this year’s honorary luncheon co-chairs: Former First Lady of New York State and accomplished author Matilda Raffa Cuomo; Brett Heyman, Founder of fashion company Edie Parker; and Veronica Vargas Lupo, Associate Partner, IBM.

NY’s Leaders Turn Out for Lupus
Hundreds of prominent women and men from New York’s fashion, society, media, entertainment, publishing, philanthropic and lupus communities supported the event. Many members of the Lupus Research Alliance Board of Directors were actively involved in the luncheon including Brenda Blackmon, Jennie DeScherer, Katey Driscoll, and Carol Weisman.  Bonnie Lautenberg, Heidi Fiske, Fern Kaye Tessler, Grace Spring, and Teri Wilford Wood were among the dedicated philanthropists in attendance.

Supporters from the fashion industry included: Karen Giberson, President of the Accessories Council; representative from Chanel, Shannon De Vine; and AKRIS Store Director Gordana Jelic.

About Lupus
Lupus is a chronic, complex autoimmune disease that affects millions of people worldwide. More than 90% of people with lupus are women; lupus most often strikes during the childbearing years of 15-45. African Americans, Latinx, Asians and Native Americans are two to three times at greater risk than Caucasians. In lupus, the immune system, which is designed to protect against infection, creates antibodies that can attack any part of the body including the kidneys, brain, heart, lungs, blood, skin, and joints.

About the Lupus Research Alliance
The Lupus Research Alliance aims to transform treatment while advancing toward a cure by funding the most innovative lupus research in the world. The organization’s stringent peer review grant process fosters diverse scientific talent who are driving discovery toward better diagnostics, improved treatments and ultimately a cure for lupus.  Because the Lupus Research Alliance’s Board of Directors fund all administrative and fundraising costs, 100% of all donations goes to support lupus research programs.

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Contact: Margy Meislin
Phone Number: 646-884-6025
Email: mmeislin@lupusresearch.org

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