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Three Leading Lupus Experts Join LFA Medical-Scientific Advisory Council

by | Mar 23, 2022

We are thrilled to welcome three leading lupus experts to the Lupus Foundation of America Medical-Scientific Advisory Council (MSAC):

Photo of New 2022-2023 LFA Medical-Scientific Advisory Council Members
  • May Choi, MD, MPH, FRCPC, Brigham and Women’s Hospital Rheumatology Assistant Professor, Cumming School of Medicine
  • Cristina Drenkard, MD, PhD, Emory School of Medicine Associate Professor of Medicine, Division of Rheumatology
  • Zihai Li, MD, PhD, Klotz Memorial Chair in Cancer Research, Professor and Founding Director, Pelotonia Institute for Immuno-Oncology

The three new members join over 30 impactful and prestigious thought leaders that make up the Foundation’s MSAC from multiple medical specialties related to lupus including rheumatology, nephrology, dermatology, immunology and pharmaceuticals. The MSAC plays a critical role for the Foundation, advancing the science and medicine of lupus not only through work in research and advocacy, but also by supporting professional and patient education efforts, conducting peer-review of our funding opportunities, and developing evidence-based research programs that address urgent and unmet needs.

Dr. Choi was inspired by her father’s impact as a rheumatologist growing up and developed a strong passion for systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) research. Her research and laboratory work are focused on biomarker discovery and validation for prediction of clinical outcomes in autoimmune rheumatic disease including lupus, as well as the prevention of autoimmune disease development and disease-related complications.

Dr. Drenkard has focused her research for the past 20 years on lupus health disparities, emphasizing patient-centered outcomes and how behavioral interventions affect the actions that individuals take with regard to their health. Among her work, Dr. Drenkard founded an online lupus health education program in Spanish and Portuguese targeting Latin American people with lupus and their caregivers.

Dr. Li has focused his research on cancer immunology and the biology of molecular chaperones (proteins that assist others to function properly). He is a leader in the field of a chaperone called glucose-regulated protein 94 (GRP94), having established its roles in immunity, development, autoimmune diseases and cancer. Currently Dr. Li’s lab is focused on developing better cancer immunotherapies.

We deeply appreciate the critical contributions our MSAC makes to support important research initiatives, education programs and resources, and much more! Learn more about our new MSAC members and our full Council, here.

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