NEW YORK, NY. December 20. The Board of Directors and staff of the Lupus Research Alliance mourn the death of Stephen Katz, MD, PhD, a true champion for the lupus community. For over two decades, Dr. Katz has served as Director of the home institute for lupus at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS).
Under his leadership, NIAMS has been a strong advocate for people with lupus, developing numerous programs aimed at improving diagnosis and treatment of this disease. We have had a long-standing collaboration with Dr. Katz who worked with us to launch the first lupus research conference at the NIH in 1997. Subsequently, in response to calls from the Lupus Research Alliance and others, NIAMS led a Lupus Federal Working Group to develop recommendations for how the U.S. government should best invest resources in lupus research. Dr. Katz also played a key role in the Accelerating Medicines Partnership (AMP) on Rheumatoid Arthritis and Lupus, a critical initiative poised to provide a much deeper understanding of disease processes, which will in turn enable the development of targeted therapies.
“The lupus community has been fortunate to have had the leadership of such a visionary,” commented Kenneth M. Farber, President and CEO of the Lupus Research Alliance. “His compassion for patients combined with keen scientific acumen has helped advance the field significantly, making possible discoveries that will deliver better treatments and one day a cure for this prototypical autoimmune disease. We extend our sincere condolences to his family, friends and colleagues.”
Lupus is a chronic, complex autoimmune disease that affects millions of people worldwide. More than 90% of people with lupus are women, mostly diagnosed between the ages of 15 to 44. Women of color are especially at risk. In lupus, the immune system, which is designed to protect against infection, creates antibodies that attack the body’s own tissues and organs — the kidneys, brain, heart, lungs, blood, skin, and joints.
About the Lupus Research Alliance
The Lupus Research Alliance leads the quest to free the world from lupus through the power of science. The 501 (c)(3) is the only international private funder devoted to lupus research. The organization propels lupus research in new directions to pursue better treatments while driving to a cure. Because the Lupus Research Alliance Board of Directors funds all administrative and fundraising costs, 100% of all donations goes to support lupus research programs. And with pivotal discoveries, the Lupus Research Alliance is breaking through.