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Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences

Gary Koretzky, MD, PhD is Vice Provost for Academic Integration at Cornell University and a Professor of Medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine.  Previously, he was the Francis C. Wood Professor of Medicine, Vice Chair and Chief Scientific Office of the Department of Medicine, Investigator and Director of the Signal Transduction Program of the Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute at the University of Pennsylvania.


Dr. Koretzky received his AB from Cornell University (’78) and obtained his MD and PhD (Immunology) degrees at the University of Pennsylvania (’84).  Dr. Koretzky then pursued clinical training in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology at the University of California at San Francisco. He re-entered the laboratory as a postdoctoral fellow, examining the molecular events associated with T cell activation. Dr. Koretzky moved to the University of Iowa in 1991 where he continued his research examining the biochemistry and molecular biology of signal transduction in hematopoietic cells until he moved to the University of Pennsylvania in 1999.


Koretzky’s research aims to better understand the signal transduction events that occur following engagement of the T cell antigen receptor.  He has been continuously funded by the National Institutes of Health since establishing his independent research group, as the laboratory has expanded its interests to study more globally the molecular events important for immune cell development, differentiation and function.  Initial studies focused on the CD45 tyrosine phosphatase as a positive regulator of immunoreceptor signaling.  This work led naturally to an examination of the key biochemical events that occur following receptor engagement.  The Koretzky lab approach was to identify novel regulators of signal transduction following T cell receptor ligation with studies leading to the isolation, characterization, and molecular cloning of several adapter molecules, which are critical for integration of signaling pathways.  The laboratory has identified 3 such molecules including SH2 domain-containing leukocyte protein of 76 kDa (SLP-76), adhesion and degranulation-promoting adapter protein (ADAP) and promyelocytic leukemia RARa-regulated adapter molecule-1 (PRAM-1).  There are ongoing projects studying the role of each of these molecules not only in T cells but also in other hematopoietic cells.  In addition to studies of these positive regulators of immune signaling, the Koretzky laboratory has also had a long standing interest in signals that interfere with activation events in T cells.  This interest led to studies of FAS and FAS ligand and to the role of diacylglycerol kinases as terminators of lymphocyte activation.


Dr. Koretzky has published more than 200 research articles.  He is a past President of the American Society of Clinical Investigation (2000) and Councilor of the Association of American Physicians (2008-2012), is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (2004), a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies (2008), a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences (2012) and serves as the Editor-in-Chief of Immunological Reviews (2002-present).


Dr. Collins has been a scientific leader in the biopharmaceutical industry with 28 years of experience leading research efforts in industry to discover and develop new small molecule and protein therapeutics for the treatment of inflammatory diseases.


Dr. Collins served as Chief Scientific Officer and Vice President of the Immunology and Autoimmunity Research Unit for Pfizer in Cambridge MA from 2009 until her retirement in 2012.  Prior to this, she was Vice President of Inflammation Discovery Research at Wyeth.


She currently serves on the Scientific Advisory Board of the Lupus Research Alliance and is a visiting scientist at Harvard Medical School.


Dr. Collins completed undergraduate, graduate and postdoctoral work at SUNY at Stony Brook, Wesleyan University, and the Carnegie Institute of Washington. She joined the biotechnology company Genetics Institute in 1983.


Originally trained in molecular biology and genetics, she began work in Immunology in 1987 after a sabbatical at Harvard Medical School.


Her career encompassed both the biotechnology and pharmaceutical environments due to the acquisition of Genetics Institute by Wyeth in 1996, and the acquisition of Wyeth by Pfizer in 2009.


Dr. Collins’s research interests have focused on the discovery and therapeutic application of novel pathways for modulating immune responses.


Dr. Collins is an author on over 100 scientific publications and an inventor on 35 issued US patents.  She has served as a reviewer for multiple scientific journals and granting committees.


She has enjoyed collaborative interactions with scientists in the Immunology community, making scientific contributions to the field, mentoring the next generation of scientists, and contributing to improvements in healthcare.

National Institute for Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS)

Mariana Kaplan, MD is Senior Investigator and Chief of the Systemic Autoimmunity Branch at the National Institute for Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), National Institutes of Health. She is also Deputy Scientific Director at the Intramural Research Program at NIAMS.  Prior to this appointment, she was Professor of Medicine in the Division of Rheumatology at the University of Michigan, where she was a member of the faculty for 15 years, and an active member of their Multidisciplinary Lupus Clinic. Dr. Kaplan obtained her medical degree at the National Autonomous University of Mexico and did her Internal Medicine Residency at the National Institute of Medical Sciences and Nutrition in Mexico City. Dr. Kaplan did her Rheumatology Fellowship and postdoctoral training at the University of Michigan.


Dr. Kaplan’s research has focused on identifying mechanisms of organ damage and premature vascular disease in systemic autoimmunity. More specifically, she investigates how innate immunity (in particular, type I interferons and myeloid cells) promote end-organ damage in systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis and other systemic autoimmune diseases. Recently, her research has focused on identifying abnormalities of neutrophil subsets and the role of neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) in lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, both of which may contribute to the development of autoimmune responses and to end-organ damage. Dr. Kaplan also has an interest in identifying novel therapeutic targets that may prevent premature vascular damage in systemic autoimmunity, as well as the role of environmental triggers in the induction of autoimmunity. Moreover, she has led clinical trials to identify mechanisms that reduce blood vessel dysfunction in autoimmune and chronic inflammatory disorders. Dr. Kaplan has published over 160 peer-reviewed manuscripts.


In addition to her research activities, Dr. Kaplan is an active clinician and teacher. She sees lupus patients in the NIH Clinical Research Center and is involved in the development of various clinical trials for patients with autoimmune diseases at NIH. She has served in various roles at the American College of Rheumatology/ Rheumatology Research Foundation, the American Association of Immunologists, the Journal of Immunology, the Lupus Foundation of America and the Association of American Physicians. She was inducted to the American Society for Clinical Investigation and the Association of American Physicians, and received the Henry Kunkel Young Investigator Award and the Edmund L. Dubois Memorial Lectureship, both from the American College of Rheumatology. Dr. Kaplan received the 2015 Evelyn V. Hess Award from the Lupus Foundation of America in recognition of her significant contributions to lupus research, diagnosis, and treatment. In 2016, she received the Charles L Christian Award for significant impact in the understanding of lupus.


Dr. Kaplan is currently Associate Editor of the Journal of Clinical Investigation and was recently appointed as upcoming Deputy Editor of Arthritis & Rheumatology.

Director, Life Sciences Institute, UBC

Professor, Dept of Medical Genetics, UBC

Canada 150 Research Chair in Functional Genetics

Professor of Genetics, University of Vienna

Honorary Professor, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences & Qingdao University

Guest Professor, Medical University of Vienna

Adjunct Professor, Dept of Immunology, University of Toronto


 Josef Martin Penninger, born in Gurten, Austria, is an Austrian geneticist and the Canada 150 Research Chair in Functional Genetics. Dr. Penninger is currently the Director of the Life Sciences Institute (LSI) at the University of British Columbia. He studied medicine at the University of Innsbruck in Austria. From 1990 to 1994 he worked as post-doctoral fellow at the Ontario Cancer Institute, thereafter until 2002 at the Department of Immunology and Medical Biophysics at the University of Toronto. As Principal Investigator of Amgen, his independent lab contributed to the development of the antibody Denosumab for bone loss and also found the first connection for RANKL to mammary gland development in pregnancy and breast cancer. In 2002, he moved to Vienna, Austria to start and develop the Institute of Molecular Biotechnology of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (IMBA), which has become one of the prime research centers in the world. Dr. Penninger envisions to recreate this environment at the LSI to nurture and train the best and brightest young minds of UBC scholars. His major accomplishments include pioneering insights into the molecular basis of osteoporosis, breast cancer, and linking ACE2 and SARS or COVID-19-casing Coronavirus infections to lung failure. He has published extensively in several multidisciplinary scientific journals, with over 60 publications in Cell, Nature, and Science. Josef has received numerous awards including the Wittgenstein Prize of the Austrian Federal Government, the Descartes Prize for Research, the Ernst Jung Prize for Medical Excellence, the Innovator Award of the US Department of Defense, and most recently the Austrian Cross of Honor for Science and Art First Class. Currently he holds a Canada 150 Chair.

Bristol-Myers Squibb

Senior Vice President, Research & Early Development


Robert is Senior Vice President, Research & Early Development, and Head, Immunology, Cardiovascular, Fibrosis, and Global Health (ICFG) at Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS). Prior to BMS, Robert was a Vice President at Celgene (2017-2019) and Merck (2013-2017). Before joining industry, Robert was a practicing rheumatologist at Brigham & Women’s Hospital, Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School, and an Associate Member of the Broad Institute. Robert’s original research has been published in Nature, New England Journal of Medicine, Science, Nature Genetics, and other top-tiered medical journals. In recognition of his accomplishments, Robert has received numerous awards, including: Pre-doctoral Clinical Award from The American Society of Human Genetics (1995); The Young Investigator Award from the Department of Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (2008); Career Award for Medical Scientists from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund (2008); and election to The American Society for Clinical Investigation (2012).

University of Washington School of Medicine


Dr. Rawlings graduated Magna Cum Laude in Biological Sciences from Davidson College, and received his M.D. from the University of North Carolina. He completed residency and chief residency in pediatrics at UCSF, and Pediatric Rheumatology/Immunology subspecialty training at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. He pursued post-doctoral research as an intramural fellow at the NIH and in the HHMI, UCLA. Formerly a member of the UCLA faculty, Dr. Rawlings joined the University of Washington in 2001. He directs the Center for Immunity and Immunotherapies at Seattle Children’s Research Institute and is also chief of the Division of Immunology overseeing the immunodeficiency clinical program at Seattle Children’s Hospital. Dr. Rawlings has received numerous awards including the Seattle Children’s Guild Association Endowed Chair in Pediatric Immunology, Tom Hansen Investigator in Pediatric Innovation Endowment, and election to the American Society for Clinical Investigation and Association of American Physicians.


His primary research interests include dysregulated lymphoid development and signaling leading to immunodeficiency, autoimmunity and/or lymphoid malignancies, and the development of gene therapy for immune diseases. His laboratory uses expertise in basic and clinical immunology, signal transduction and gene editing to understand how altered signals can lead to immunologic disease, with the goal of developing translational therapies that specifically modulate key pathways.


Hospital for Special Surgery

Dr. Jane Salmon is Professor of Medicine and Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Weill Cornell Medical College and the Collette Kean Research Professor at Hospital for Special Surgery.


Dr. Salmon graduated magna cum laude from New York University and earned a medical degree in 1978 from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University, where she was the first woman enrolled in their Medical Scientist Training Program. She completed training in internal medicine at The New York Hospital and in rheumatology at Hospital for Special Surgery, and has been an HSS faculty member since 1983. Dr. Salmon has served on the Board of Directors of the American College of Rheumatology and on the NIH Advisory Boards for the North American Rheumatoid Arthritis Consortium and the Lupus Multiplex Registry. Dr. Salmon was co-editor of Arthritis and Rheumatism and is currently an Associate Editor of Annals of Rheumatic Diseases. At Hospital for Special Surgery, she is a Director of the Lupus and APS Center of Excellence, co-Director of the Mary Kirkland Center for Lupus Research, and Director of the FOCIS Center of Excellence.


Dr. Salmon’s research has focused on elucidating mechanisms of tissue injury in lupus and other autoimmune diseases. Her basic and clinical studies have expanded our understanding of pregnancy loss and organ damage in SLE and the determinants of disease outcome in lupus patients with nephritis, pregnancy, and cardiovascular disease.


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