Feb. 22, 2023
The Lupus Research Alliance has funded some of the biggest breakthroughs in lupus research, and we’re pleased to share a new series on the scientists that help make that possible. The LRA’s Diversity in Lupus Research Awards aim to address underrepresentation of minorities in the scientific research profession.
As part of our Black History celebration, we are beginning a researcher series with 3 Questions with Erika Moore, PhD, University of Florida, one of our Diversity in Lupus Research Award recipients, who explains why she chose to focus on researching lupus, and what she hopes to achieve with her project.
- Why did you choose to focus on lupus research in particular?
I choose to focus on lupus because of the number of Black women who suffer and die from lupus-related complications. As a Black woman in engineering, I know too many Black women who are suffering, and I want to use my privilege to better understand and advocate for advancements in the disease.
- Why is diversity important in the lupus research field?
Lupus is a complex disease — we need diverse perspectives to help us understand, attenuate, and address lupus. I hope my Career Development Award can help invite people who have not previously considered lupus into our field of research.
- What do you hope your Career Development Award project will achieve for people with lupus?
I hope my Career Development Award can help invite people who have not previously considered lupus into our field of research. I’m an engineer so others might ask, what is an engineer doing studying lupus? And that’s the beauty of the Career Development Award, I’m launching my career and efforts to understand how the health disparity of lupus translates into immunological differences in tissue-engineered models that I create in the lab.