2015 Distinguished Innovator Award Recipients

The Lupus Research Institute (LRI) announced its 2015 Distinguished Innovator Award (DIA) recipients:  Eric Morand, MD, PhD, Monash University, Australia; and Tanya N. Mayadas, PhD, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, U.S.  LRI’s global DIA program allows exceptional researchers who match scientific rigor with innovative vision to conduct major projects for up to $1 million that can get to the root causes of lupus and advance treatment that could arrest or reverse the disease.

Eric Morand, Ph.D.One Protein may Contribute to Causing Lupus
“We have discovered a protein GILZ that may be a factor in causing lupus. If so, we will investigate if GILZ is a target for a safer therapy to replace the widely used steroids which can cause severe side effects that contribute to permanent organ damage and increased mortality.”

Eric Morand, MD, PhD, Director of Rheumatology at Monash Health and Founder of the Lupus Clinic at Monash Health

Tanya N. Mayadas, Ph.D.Why do Some Patients Get Lupus Nephritis While Others Don’t?
“We aim to identify specific characteristics of circulating autoantibodies that make them more likely to trigger inflammation in the kidney and cause renal damage. We will also investigate why and how autoantibodies accumulate in some lupus patients but not others, providing a basis for therapies designed to prevent kidney disease.”

Tanya N. Mayadas, PhD, Professor of Pathology at Brigham & Women's Hosp/ Harvard Medical School