DNA graphic

Scientific Advisory Board

Hospital for Special Surgery

Dr. Crow is Physician-in-Chief and Chair of the Department of Medicine at Hospital for Special Surgery and is Chief of the Division of Rheumatology at HSS and NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center. She is also Director of the Autoimmunity and Inflammation Research Program and Co-Director of the Mary Kirkland Center for Lupus Research at HSS. Dr. Crow holds the Benjamin M. Rosen Chair in Immunology and Inflammation Research at HSS and is the Joseph P. Routh Professor of Rheumatic Diseases in Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College.

Dr. Crow leads 66 full-time physicians, including 30 adult and 3 pediatric rheumatologists, who provide outstanding care to patients across the full spectrum of autoimmune and inflammatory rheumatic diseases and deliver perioperative medical care to patients undergoing surgical procedures at HSS. Dr. Crow has established disease-specific Centers of Excellence focused on innovative initiatives in clinical and translational research, patient and professional education, and quality of care.

Dr. Crow’s academic and research career has focused on unraveling the cellular and molecular mechanisms that underlie the systemic autoimmune diseases, with a particular focus on systemic lupus erythematosus and rheumatoid arthritis. She has identified interferon-alpha, an immune system protein typically expressed in the setting of virus infection, as the key pathogenic mediator in lupus. Her laboratory continues to study the molecular pathways that are associated with the clinical manifestations of lupus and the mechanisms that result in disease flares.

In addition to her leadership roles at HSS and NYPH/WCMC, Dr. Crow has served as President of the American College of Rheumatology and as President of the Henry Kunkel Society. She has been honored as an “Arthritis Hero” of the Arthritis Foundation, and in 2010 she received the Margaret D. Smith Lifetime Achievement Award of the Arthritis Foundation, New York Chapter.

Immune Tolerance Network, National Institutes of Health
Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason

Dr. Nepom received his bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry from Harvard in 1972 and doctorates from the University of Washington, receiving his PhD in Biochemistry in 1977 and his MD in 1978. After post-doctoral work in immunogenetics in the Department of Pathology at Harvard Medical School, he returned to Seattle, joining the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the University of Washington Medical School Faculty in 1982. Since 1985 he has been a Member of the Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason (BRI) and served as Director of BRI from 1985 through 2015. In 2010, Dr. Nepom also became Director of the Immune Tolerance Network (ITN), sponsored by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).


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.

Pandion Therapeutics

Anthony J. Coyle, Ph.D., is the chief executive officer of Pandion Therapeutics. Prior to joining Pandion, Coyle was the founding Chief Scientific Officer and Senior Vice President of Pfizer’s Centers for Therapeutic Innovation (CTI) and is responsible for CTI’s strategy and scientific direction.

Previously Dr. Coyle was the Vice President and Global Head of Respiratory, Inflammation and Autoimmunity Research at MedImmune Biologics, a Division of AstraZeneca. At MedImmune, Dr. Coyle advanced a biologic portfolio from discovery to Phase 2 in the areas of respiratory and autoimmune diseases, specifically targeting lupus, asthma and COPD. Prior to his work at MedImmune, Dr. Coyle was Director of Research at Millennium Pharmaceuticals, where he led a group responsible for the identification of novel target genes, as well as for late-stage lead optimization and delivery of both small-molecule and biologic development candidates.

Dr. Coyle has been Associate Professor in the Department of Pathology and Experimental Therapeutics at McMaster University in Ontario since 1992. He has authored more than 200 manuscripts. Dr. Coyle holds a BSc and a Ph.D. from Kings College, University of London. Dr. Coyle is a member of the scientific board for the Alliance for Lupus Research and the C4 NCATS consortium.

BL Kotzin, Inc.

Brian Kotzin, M.D. completed his medical education at Stanford University and residency in internal medicine at the Beth Israel Hospital (Harvard) in Boston Massachusetts.  He completed his rheumatology fellowship in the Division of Rheumatology and Immunology at Stanford University Medical Center.  Dr. Kotzin joined the faculty at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver Colorado in 1981, and his academic career included concomitant faculty appointments in the Division of Basic Sciences at the National Jewish Medical and Research Center in Denver.  His positions as a professor in the Departments of Medicine (Rheumatology) and Immunology included Chief of Rheumatology (VA Med Center), Head of Rheumatology at National Jewish, Henry Claman Chair and Chief of Clinical Immunology at the University of Colorado, and Director of the Denver Autoimmunity Center of Excellence.  His ~25 year academic career included major commitments to patient care, research, and teaching.  Interest in clinical research to develop novel therapeutics for rheumatic diseases resulted in Dr. Kotzin joining Amgen Inc. in Thousand Oaks California in 2004 as Vice President of Global Clinical Development and Head of the Inflammation Therapeutic Area. Positions at Amgen also included Vice President and Head of Medical Sciences, an integrated department comprised of Early Clinical Development, Molecular Sciences, Imaging Sciences, Clinical Immunology, and Computational Biology. During his leadership, Medical Sciences was responsible for the planning and execution of early-phase clinical development (to proof of concept) as well as the discovery and implementation of pharmacodynamic  biomarkers in clinical studies at Amgen.  Dr. Kotzin transitioned from Amgen in 2015 to be a consultant for groups involved in developing new therapeutics for lupus and other autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. He recently assumed the role of Head of Clinical Development at Nektar Therapeutics, in addition to his consulting work. In this capacity, Dr. Kotzin is leading clinical development for NKTR-358, a first-in-class regulatory T cell stimulator in development as a treatment for immune and inflammatory disorders.

Dr. Kotzin’s academic research work focused on two major areas relevant to the immunopathogenesis of disease. Studies in mouse models included attempts to understand the genetic basis of disease and the immunological defects central to the development of autoimmunity, as well as treatments to prevent and suppress lupus-like disease. Research studies in human immune-mediated diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis, were directed at delineating critical T cell functional defects and defining T cell recognition of antigen in these diseases.  He has published extensively with over 200 publications in peer-reviewed journals. In industry, Dr. Kotzin was involved in the early-phase and late-phase development of new therapeutics for rheumatoid arthritis, other rheumatic diseases, psoriasis, and other inflammatory diseases.

Dr. Kotzin was a member of the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) Board of Directors, Scientific Program Chairman for the Annual ACR Scientific meeting, and member of various ACR councils, study groups and committees.  He received a Senior Fellow Scholar Award from the ACR.  Additional selected national responsibilities have included Member and Chairperson of the NIH Immunological Sciences Study Section, Chairperson of the NIH (NIAID) Autoimmunity Centers of Excellence, Member of the Advisory Council of the NIH National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), Industry Representative for the FDA Arthritis Advisory Committee, Co-Chairperson of the Immunity and Inflammation Steering Committee for the FNIH Biomarkers Consortium, and Member of the Board of Directors for the Federation of Clinical Immunology Societies (FOCIS).  He has won numerous honors, including the Kirkland Scholar Award for Lupus Research, the Henry Claman Chair in Clinical Immunology, the Clemens Von Pirquet Award for Distinguished Work in Immunology, and the Gretchen Kramer Award for Outstanding Contributions to Medicine.  Dr. Kotzin is an elected member of the American Society of Clinical Investigation and Association of American Physicians.  He is also an elected Master of the American College of Rheumatology.

Weill Cornell Medical College

Dr. Pascual is Director of the Drukier Institute for Children’s Health and the Ronay A, Menschel Professor of Pediatrics at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York, NY. She is also the Program Director of an NIAID-funded Autoimmunity Center of Excellence and NIAMS-funded Center of Research Translation focused on Pediatric Lupus. Dr. Pascual is a pediatric rheumatologist interested in basic and translational immunology. Her research focuses on pediatric inflammatory and autoimmune diseases with the goals of translating laboratory findings into the identification of therapeutic targets and useful biomarkers.  Her studies have contributed to the discovery that type I interferon (IFN) and interleukin 1 (IL-1) are important pathogenic players in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) and systemic onset Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (sJIA), respectively. Using genomic approaches, her group is identifying novel pathways to target therapeutically as well as unique signatures to follow patients in the clinic and assess responses to therapy.  Dr. Pascual and her colleagues have been at the forefront of clinical trials using IL-1 blockers in sJIA, which have shown remarkable clinical benefits in nearly 70% of patients.


Duke University Medical Center

Studies in my laboratory concern the immunological properties of DNA as related to two main topics: 1) the induction of anti-DNA responses in systemic lupus erythematosus; and 2) the stimulation of innate immunity by bacterial DNA. These topics are closely linked since we have established novel disease models in which lupus-like illness can be induced in normal mice by bacterial DNA under conditions in which mammalian DNA is inactive. This model has been useful in elucidating mechanisms of DNA antigen drive in autoimmunity.

To pursue these studies, our laboratory conducts investigations in the following areas: 1) specificity of anti-DNA for epitopes on mammalian and bacterial DNA; 2) molecular analysis of murine mononclonal anti-DNA antibodies; 3) histopathological analyses of DNA-immunized mice; 4) in vitro analysis of proliferation, antibody production and cytokine expression in human and murine immune cells; and 5) analysis of DNA binding to cell surface molecules on B cells, T cells and macrophages. Results of these studies have allowed identification of at least two structural motifs that are immunoactive. We are also exploring the impact of chemical modifications of the DNA backbone.

In addition to work on the immunology of DNA, I am also involved in clinical trials related to new immunomodulatory agents in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis as well as serological markers of disease activity.

The areas of research for which I am known nationally are anti-DNA antibodies, systemic lupus erythematosus and immunological properties of DNA. I have written textbook chapters and reviews on all these subjects.

I completed my medical degree and doctorate at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University.


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.


The Camden Group; Washington University School of Medicine

Dr. Benjamin D. Schwartz earned his BA degree summa cum laude from Columbia College and his M.D. degree and Ph.D. degree in Immunology from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. He completed his residency and internship at Bronx Municipal Hospital Center. He then spent two years as a Research Associate in the Laboratory of Immunology at the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases of the NIH, and subsequently joined the faculty of the Department of Medicine at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri, where he was also an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and Chief of Rheumatology at Jewish Hospital. In 1991, he became Director of Immunology at Monsanto Corporate Research and oversaw a variety of basic research programs to identify drug candidates to treat autoimmune diseases.

Dr. Schwartz joined Monsanto’s GD Searle Unit as Senior Director within the Arthritis Franchise and designed and directed several of the clinical trials which contributed to the approval of Celebrex®. He then directed the clinical development program for Bextra®. In 1999, he co-founded The Camden Group. Dr. Schwartz is also a Rheumatologist and Professor of Clinical Medicine at Washington University School of Medicine, and Attending Physician at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis. He is Board Certified in Rheumatology, Internal Medicine, and Allergy and Immunology. He has been selected as one of the Best Doctors in America for 2005 -2010. Dr. Schwartz is a past President of the American Federation of Clinical Research. He has served on the Board of Directors of the Eastern Missouri Chapter of the Arthritis Foundation for over 25 years, and as the Chairman of the Board from 1992-1994. He has also served as the Chairman of the Research Council of the American College of Rheumatology (ACR), as Chairman of the NIH Allergy and Immunology Study Section, as a member of the Board of Directors of the ACR, as a member of the Board of Directors of the ACR Research and Education Foundation, as a member of the Research Committee of the National Arthritis Foundation, and as a member of several Blue Ribbon Committees addressing research issues for the ACR, Arthritis Foundation, and the NIH. Dr. Schwartz also serves on the Scientific Advisory Board of the Lupus Research Institute. He is the author of over 150 original research articles, review articles, and chapters in text books, and holds 3 patents as the result of work performed for Camden Group clients.

University of Pittsburgh

Our lab is interested in systemic autoimmune diseases, long-lived B cell immunity, and in immunopathogenesis. We are using transgenic and knockout mouse models to address the questions of how autoreactive B cells arise and what are the role(s) that these cells play in mediating autoimmune disease. We have also used genetic approaches to test the roles of CD11c+ and other myeloid cells in promoting murine lupus and autoreactive B cell activation. We continue to work regulatory role of TLR9 and stimulatory role of TLR7 in lupus, and to define how TLRs function in tissue-specific fashion, including recently defining the role of MyD88. During investigation of NETs in lupus we unexpectedly found a regulatory role for NADPH oxidase, whereas NETs were not required for SLE. Regarding B cell immunity, we have made recent insights into the mechanisms of cellular selection and differentiation in the germinal center, a site of rapid proliferation, mutation, and differentiation into memory cells. Strikingly, we found that BCR signaling was desensitized by elevated phosphatase activity in the GC, which we are actively investigating. We have identified novel subsets of memory B cells in mice and are studying their origins and function. Finally, we are investigating why memory T cells fail to cause graft-vs-host disease using a new TCR transgenic model.

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

George C. Tsokos, MD, is a Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and on staff at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA. He received his M.D. from The National University of Athens and completed his medical residency at the University of Athens, VA Hospital and Georgetown University in Washington DC and his rheumatology and clinical immunology training at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD.

Dr. Tsokos’s research has focused on the cellular and molecular pathogenesis of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). His laboratory has opened and led the field of molecular abnormalities on immune cells in patients with SLE. There are two central needs to improve the care of patients with SLE: 1) reliable markers to diagnose and follow the activity of the disease and 2) therapeutic targets which will be specific for the disease with minimal toxicity. His lab performs biochemical, molecular biology and cellular studies of immune and kidney cells using human material- major findings are transferred to lupus animal models to confirm their significance and ultimately back to the clinic for final confirmation. Dr. Tsokos have led the field of deciphering cellular and molecular aberrations that characterize SLE T cells and I have identified several that can be used as disease markers.

Dr. Tsokos directs a T32 sponsored by NIAID on Systemic Autoimmunity and initiated a Clinical Rheumatology Fellowship and he is deeply dedicated to the development of young colleagues in the division. He supervises rheumatology and immunology fellows in the laboratory and takes pride in their development and progress to independent investigator status. Several of his trainees have moved to K status (and on to R grants) while many are already professors and leaders of divisions/departments or other activities. He founded and chaired an annual (for 7 years) School for Systemic Autoimmune Diseases (Clinical Immunology Society).

He is the past-President of the Clinical Immunology society and has served on the Boards of Directors of the Research Foundation of the American College of Rheumatology and the Lupus foundation of America and serves as member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Alliance for lupus Research. He has served as regular member for 7 years and as chair for two years of the Hypersensitivity, Autoimmunity and Immune Mediated Disorders Study Section of the National Institutes of Health and as Chair of the Alliance for Lupus Research Study Section. He is a Master of the American College of Physicians and has been elected member of the Association of American Physicians and Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences. He holds 4 honorary degrees. He has received the Philip Hench, James Leonard, William Felts, Galen and William Crosby awards. He has been a Kirkland Awardee of the Hospital for Special Surgery. More recently he received the Distinguished Basic Investigator Award from the American College of Rheumatology, the Evelyn Hess Award from the Lupus Foundation of America and the Lupus Insight Award from the three lupus organizations of America. NIH has granted him a MERIT award for his pioneering work on lupus. He currently serves as Editor-in-Chief of Clinical Immunology and has served as editor or the editorial boards of more than 50 journals.

Our success is a team effort, see our list of partners