Renowned Immunologist Joins Lupus Research Institute Scientific Advisory Board

New York, NY, January 7, 2008 – Michel Nussenzweig, MD, PhD, of Rockefeller University in New York has accepted a position on the Scientific Advisory Board and the Novel Research Task Force of the Lupus Research Institute, the nation’s only nonprofit organization singularly devoted to innovative science in lupus.

“Dr. Nussenzweig is one of the most distinguished of contemporary immunologists,” said William E. Paul, MD, chief of the Laboratory of Immunology at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease-National Institutes of Health and chairman of the Lupus Research Institute’s Scientific Advisory Board. “The Lupus Research Institute is fortunate to have an individual with his talents and accomplishments to serve on its board.”

As Co-Chairman of the Novel Research Task Force, Dr. Nussenzweig will work with David Pisetsky, MD, PhD, of Duke University in shaping the annual selection of the most promising but untested novel approaches as to why and how lupus occurs, and what can be done to prevent and stop the chronic illness in which the immune system turns on the body it is designed to defend.

This powerful strategy of breathing life into bold new ideas that would otherwise not obtain funding has transformed the research outlook for lupus. Already, 65 percent of Institute-funded investigators who have completed their 3-year grants have secured large-scale funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and other sources to expand their novel investigations.

Dr. Nussenzweig is the Sherman Fairchild Professor and senior physician at Rockefeller University, and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator. He has made extremely important contributions to our understanding of the development and function of B lymphocytes and particularly has established many of the mechanism underlying the processes through which cells capable of making auto-antibodies are normally eliminated, Dr. Paul noted. In addition, his studies on the biology of dendritic cells give very important insights into the mechanisms through which T cell tolerance is induced.

Dr. Nussenzweig, the recipient of numerous professional honors and awards, serves as editor of several leading professional journals including the Journal of Experimental Medicine and the Journal of Immunological Methods. The New York University School of Medicine graduate completed his clinical training at Massachusetts General Hospital and his postdoctoral training in genetics at Harvard University.

About the Lupus Research Institute

Pioneering Discovery to prevent, treat and cure lupus. The Lupus Research Institute (LRI), the country’s only nonprofit organization singularly devoted to novel research in lupus, champions innovation, encourages scientific creativity and risks exploring uncharted territory to bring new scientific solutions to the complex and dangerous autoimmune disease of lupus. Founded by families and shaped by scientists, the Institute mandates sound science and rigorous peer review to uncover and support only the highest ranked novel research. Its bold and proven research strategy places the LRI at the forefront of lupus science as the Institute consistently achieves the breakthrough discoveries, novel insights and solid results that are changing the course of lupus research and bringing new hope to people with lupus nationwide.

To learn more about lupus and the Lupus Research Institute, visit

About Rockefeller University

The Rockefeller University is a world-renowned center for research and graduate education in the biomedical sciences, chemistry and physics. Founded by John D. Rockefeller in 1901, the university has been the site of many important scientific breakthroughs. Rockefeller scientists, for example, established that DNA is the chemical basis of heredity, discovered blood groups, showed that viruses can cause cancer and founded the modern field of cell biology. Twenty-three Nobel Prize winners have been associated with the university, and seven are currently on the faculty, including President Paul Nurse.

About Lupus

There is no known treatment or cure for lupus (systemic lupus erythematosus), a chronic disorder that can attack virtually any body organ and can be fatal. More than 1.5 million Americans with lupus, which is considered the prototype autoimmune disease because the body’s immune system forms antibodies that can attack virtually any healthy organ or tissue, from the kidneys to the brain, heart, lungs, skin, joints, and blood. Lupus is a leading cause of heart attack, kidney disease, and stroke among young women. More Americans are diagnosed with lupus than with multiple sclerosis, cystic fibrosis, cerebral palsy, sickle cell anemia, or AIDS.