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Lupus Foundation of America Fosters the Next Generation of Lupus Researchers by Awarding Gina M. Finzi Memorial Student Summer Fellowships to Five Students

WASHINGTON, June 3 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- To foster and support the next generation of lupus researchers, the Lupus Foundation of America (LFA), Inc. has awarded summer fellowships to five young investigators who will conduct their studies under the supervision of an established lupus investigator. Named after the daughter of former LFA President Dr. Sergio Finzi, the Gina M. Finzi Memorial Student Summer Fellowship program has supported the work of approximately 200 young investigators since it was founded in 1984.

The Finzi Fellowship program seeks to cultivate an interest in a career in lupus research among young investigators by supporting basic, clinical, and psychosocial research studies. The program is part of the LFA's ongoing efforts to advance the science and medicine of lupus and bring down barriers that have impeded progress in research on the disease. In the past, medical research on lupus has not kept pace with efforts for other similar chronic and life-threatening diseases. The FDA has not approved a drug for lupus in 50 years.

The five 2009 Gina M. Finzi Fellowship recipients and their studies are:

Ian Kroll, University of California, Los Angeles (Los Angeles, CA)

"Accelerated Atherosclerosis and Pro-Inflammatory HDL in SLE-prone Mice"

Sean Lavine, New York University School of Medicine (New York, NY)

"Cyclooxygenase 2 and Injury in Neonatal Lupus"

Bruce Volpe, Winifred Masterson Burke Medical Research Institute (White Plains, NY)

"Putative Mechanism of NP-SLE: Toxicity of Anti-DNA Anti-NMDAR Antibody"

Maggie Bromberg, Duke University Medical Center (Durham, NC )

"Psychological and Disease Related Predictors of Sleep in Pediatric SLE"

Tarak Trivedi, The University of Chicago (Chicago, IL)

"Analysis of SLE Clinical Characteristics Using SLE Susceptibility Genes"

The Foundation's national research program, Bringing Down the Barriers, also supports important studies in areas of research that have been neglected or underfunded in the past, including pediatric/adolescent lupus, lupus in males, and mid-to-late stage translational research. The program also provides research grants for cutaneous (skin) lupus, kidney disease and lupus, and the cognitive effects of lupus. The program is made possible in part through donations from individuals, corporations, foundations, and a nationwide network of LFA chapters and support groups. In addition, LFA advocates have been effective in advancing lupus research and education programs conducted by the federal government, and secured millions of additional research dollars for studies on lupus supported through the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Defense, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

About Lupus

Lupus is an acute and chronic autoimmune disease in which the immune system is unbalanced, causing inflammation and tissue damage to virtually any organ in the body. Its health effects include heart attacks, strokes, seizures, miscarriages, and organ failure. Ninety percent of the people with lupus are women, and it is two to three times more common among African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, Native Americans, and Asians.

About the Lupus Foundation of America

The LFA is the foremost national nonprofit voluntary health organization dedicated to finding the causes of and cure for lupus, and providing support, services, and hope to all people affected by lupus. Founded in 1977, the LFA has a nationwide network of nearly 300 chapters and support groups and operates programs of research, education, and advocacy. For further information about LFA's National Research Program, please contact Susan Drinan Bowes, Manager, Education & Research, Lupus Foundation of America, Inc. at 202-349-1153 or at To learn more about lupus or the LFA, go online to

SOURCE Lupus Foundation of America
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