Scientific Advisors

Mary Collins, Ph.D.

Past Chief Scientific Officer (CS0)
nflammation and Immunology at Pfizer Research

Dr. Collins is a scientific leader in the biopharmaceutical industry with 28 years of experience leading the development of new small molecule and protein therapeutics for the treatment of inflammatory diseases, including lupus.  Dr. Collins has collaborated extensively with the academic scientific community, and she is currently a visiting scientist with colleagues at the Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard University.


Bevra Hahn, M.D.

Professor of Medicine, Chief, Division of Rheumatology
David Geffen UCLA School of Medicine, Los Angeles, CA

Dr. Hahn is currently Professor of Medicine and Chief, Division of Rheumatology, at the UCLA School of Medicine. A world-renowned researcher and lecturer, Dr. Hahn has served the public and professional communities in a variety of volunteer positions, including President of the American College of Rheumatology (ACR). Dr. Hahn heads research groups that do basic studies in the immune abnormalities that cause systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), and is developing interventions that help restore the immune response to normal. She also heads a group that studies clinical problems in patients with SLE and provides clinical consultations for patients with rheumatic diseases, particularly SLE.  
Dr. Hahn received her MD from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, where she later trained in Rheumatology. She trained in internal medicine at Washington University in St. Louis.

V. Michael Holers, MD

Scoville Professor of Rheumatology and Head
Division of Rheumatology
University of Colorado School of Medicine

With his extensive work on the complement system, a group of proteins that interact to form a first-line defense against infection but also are inappropriately misdirected against one's own organs and cells, Dr. Holers' research has revealed the fundamental biology of complement proteins and their therapeutic potential as targets to treat autoimmune and inflammatory conditions such as lupus. In addition, as co-founder of Taligen Therapeutics, he has led the development of new complement inhibitors now in clinical development.


David Isenberg, MD

University College London Hospitals, UK

In addition to serving as professor at the University College London Hospitals, Dr. Isenberg is Chair of the British Isles Assessment Group and served as the Chair (1998-2003) of the Systemic Lupus International Collaborating Clinics group (SLICC). He is the past president of the British Society for Rheumatology (2004-2006) and is currently chairing the Society’s Biologics Register Committee. Dr. Isenberg has been elected to Fellowships of both the Royal College of Physicians and the Academy of Medical Sciences and received the Evelyn Hess Prize from the Lupus Foundation of America for his contribution to lupus research and treatment.
Dr. Isenberg’s principal clinical interests have been in the development of disease activity and damage assessment tools in patients with lupus.  

Brian L. Kotzin, MD

Vice President, Global Clinical Development
Amgen, Inc.

Before his post at Amgen, Dr. Brian L. Kotzin was the Head of the Division of Clinical Immunology in the Department of Medicine, and the Director of the Denver Autoimmunity Center of Excellence, at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver, Colorado. He received his medical degree from Stanford University School of Medicine in Palo Alto, California, as well as his postdoctoral fellowship in the Division of Immunology and Rheumatology. He did his fellowship in rheumatology and medicine at Beth Israel Hospital in Boston. Dr. Kotzin is an appointed member of the Advisory Council of the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) at NIH. He is an associate editor for Autoimmunity, a consulting editor for the Journal of Clinical Investigation, and serves on the editorial boards of Autoimmunity Reviews and Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine.

Michel Nussenzweig, MD, PhD

Sherman Fairchild Professor and Senior Physician
Rockefeller University

Dr. Nussenzweig is the Sherman Fairchild Professor and senior physician at Rockefeller University, a member of the National Academy of Sciences, and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator. He is one of the nation’s most distinguished contemporary immunologists, having made extremely important contributions to the 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. 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 is the recipient of numerous professional honors and awards, and 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. More

Virginia Pascual, MD

Baylor Institute for Immunology Research

Virginia Pascual, MDDr. Pascual is an investigator at the Baylor Institute of Immunology Research. Her laboratory focuses broadly on two areas: 1) understanding the pathogenesis of pediatric autoimmune diseases and 2) identifying biomarkers to follow patients in the clinical setting. She is the director of two NIH-funded centers (the Center of Research Translation, and an Autoimmunity Center of Excellence), both of which bring investigators in basic and translational research together to work toward better understanding lupus and other autoimmune diseases such as systemic arthritis, deramtomyositis, and multiple sclerosis, and strive to find novel therapies for these illnesses. Dr. Pascual received her M.D. from the Universidad Complutense in Madrid, Spain. She completed a pediatrics residency at the Hopital 12 de Ocubre in Madrid, and a post-doctoral fellowship in molecular immunology and a clinical fellowship in pediatric rheumatology at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, Texas. From 1998 through 2004 she was the director of the Pediatric Rheumatology Division at UT Southwestern. Dr. Pascual continues to take care of children with rheumatic diseases in the Arthritis Clinic at Scottish Rite Hospital for Crippled Children in Dallas.

David S. Pisetsky, MD, PhD

Professor of Medicine and Immunology
Duke University Medical Center

David S. Pisetsky, MD, PhDDr. Pisetsky is Professor of Medicine and Immunology at the Duke University Medical Center, and Chief of Rheumatology at the Durham Veterans Administration (VA) Hospital. A leading investigator in the field of autoimmunity, Dr. Pisetsky has spent years researching the pathogenesis of systemic lupus erythematosus and the immunological properties of nuclear macromolecules. He has published almost 300 papers and chapters and, in 2001, was awarded the Howley Prize from the Arthritis Foundation for his work. Dr. Pisetsky served as editor of Arthritis and Rheumatism, the leading journal in the field of rheumatology, from 200 to 2005, and currently is the physician editor of The Rheumatologist.  Dr. Pisetsky received his Ph.D. and M.D. degrees from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and completed his internship and residency in Internal Medicine at the Yale-New Haven Hospital.

Benjamin D. Schwartz, MD, PhD

Professor of Clinical Medicine
Washington University School of Medicine

Dr. Benjamin Schwartz, a specialist in clinical research, has been Professor of Clinical Medicine, Washington University School of Medicine since 1991, and Attending Physician at the Barnes Jewish Hospital in St. Louis since 1976. He formed the Camden Group in 1999, where he is now CEO, to assist biotech and pharmaceutical companies in designing clinical research programs. Prior to this Dr. Schwartz was Senior Director of Clinical Research at Searle Research and Development. He is the author of more than 150 research articles and textbook chapters.

Mark Jay Shlomchik , MD, PhD

Professor and Chair
Department of Immunology University of Pittsburgh

Dr. Mark Shlomchik heads up the Department of Immunology at University of Pittsburgh. In addition, he works closely with several entities in the medical school which focus on various aspects of immunology, including the Thomas E. Starzl Transplantation Institute, the Center for Vaccine Research, and the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute. Before joining the University of Pittsburgh, Dr. Shlomchik was Professor (Adjunct) of Laboratory Medicine and Professor of Immunobiology; Associate Director, Transfusion Service at Yale University. He received his Medical Degree and doctorate from University of Pennsylvania.
In 2013 Dr. Shlomchik was selected as the first recipient of the Lupus Insight Prize - a collaborative initiative among the Alliance for Lupus Research (ALR), the Lupus Foundation of America (LFA), and the Lupus Research Institute (LRI) to recognize and honor the achievements of an outstanding investigator in the field.

Katherine Siminovitch, MD

Professor of Medicine
University of Toronto

Dr. Katherine Siminovitch is a Professor of Medicine at the University of Toronto and serves as the director of the Lunenfeld’s Genomic Medicine Program and the Fred A. Litwin Family Centre of Genetic Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital, and the University Health Network (UHN). She also directs the UHN Gene Profiling Facility and the Toronto General Research Institute Genomic Medicine Division.
A world-leading geneticist, Dr. Siminovitch studies the molecular mechanisms underpinning development of immunologic disease. She holds an MD from the University of Toronto and is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.


* Deceased 2015