October 21, 2021
The Lupus Research Alliance (LRA) is very proud to congratulate our research grantee Katherine Fitzgerald, PhD and Scientific Advisory Board member Mariana J. Kaplan, MD, on their appointments to the highly prestigious National Academy of Medicine (NAM).
Both Drs. Fitzgerald and Kaplan are preeminent leaders in lupus and autoimmune disease research. Dr. Fitzgerald is Professor of Medicine, Vice-Chair of Research in the Department of Medicine, and Director of the Program in Innate Immunity at the University of Massachusetts Chan Medical School. Dr. Kaplan serves as Deputy Scientific Director, Senior Investigator, and Branch Chief of the Systemic Autoimmunity Branch Lupus Clinical Trials Unit at the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS). She also sees lupus patients in the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center and is involved in various clinical trials for patients with autoimmune diseases at NIH.
The LRA is particularly gratified to see this recognition for two researchers who work closely with the organization. A recipient of the LRA’s Lupus Mechanisms and Targets Award, Dr. Fitzgerald’s work has resulted in several breakthroughs in understanding how autoimmunity develops. As a member of the LRA Scientific Advisory Board, Dr. Kaplan provides expert input and guidance on a variety of strategic questions ranging from the development and implementation of the LRA’s strategic plan for research to shaping the LRA’s grant research portfolio.
Dr. Fitzgerald’s election to NAM is for her “pioneering work on innate immune receptors, signaling pathways, and regulation of inflammatory gene expression.” Dr. Kaplan was selected for her “seminal contributions that have significantly advanced the understanding of the pathogenic role of the innate immune system in systemic autoimmune diseases, atherosclerosis, and immune-mediated vasculopathies.”
LRA Chief Scientific Officer Dr. Teodora Staeva commented, “Election to the National Academy of Medicine is one of the highest honors in the field of medicine and recognizes outstanding professional achievements. We are thrilled with Drs. Fitzgerald’s and Kaplan’s well-deserved distinctions and grateful for their research efforts in lupus and long-standing engagement with the Lupus Research Alliance.”
About the National Academy of Medicine
The National Academy of Medicine, established in 1970 as the Institute of Medicine, is an independent organization of eminent professionals from diverse fields, including health and medicine; the natural, social, and behavioral sciences; and beyond. It serves alongside the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering as an adviser to the nation and the international community. Through its domestic and global initiatives, the NAM works to address critical issues in health, medicine, and related policy and inspire positive action across sectors. The NAM collaborates closely with its peer academies and other divisions within the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. With their election, NAM members make a commitment to volunteer their service in National Academies activities.