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Mary Kirkland Center for Lupus Research

2002-2005 Kirkland Scholars

Graciela S. Alarcón, MD, MPH
Jane Knight Lowe Chair of Medicine in Rheumatology, Department of Medicine, Division of Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology

Dr. Alarcón's interests are focused on prevention and outcomes research dedicated to the study of risk factors accounting for poor disease outcomes among patients with different rheumatic disorders, to the modification of these risk factors, and to the implementation of evidence-based advances in clinical practice.

She is focusing on lupus and is the Principal Investigator for the LUMINA and PROFILE studies of SLE. In the LUMINA (LUpus in MInority populations NAture vs nurture) study, a multicenter effort (UAB, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, UTH and University of Puerto Rico, UPR) has been undertaken to constitute a multi-ethnic cohort of SLE patients of Hispanic, African-American and Caucasian ethnicity, to determine the factors predictive of outcome. A comprehensive database which includes detailed socioeconomic-demographic, clinic, immunologic, immunogenetic, functional, psychological, and behavioral variables has been established and a serum and DNA repository are in place. Process and end-point outcomes being examined include disease activity, damage, thrombotic events, and mortality. This rich longitudinal database is an invaluable resource for determining the many different factors that can affect the outcome of lupus among individuals from different ethnic groups.
Bevra H. Hahn, MD
Professor of Medicine, Vice-Chair of the Department of Medicine, Chief of Rheumatology at the School of Medicine, University of California Los Angeles

Dr. Hahn received her medical degree from Johns Hopkins and did an internship and residency in medicine in St. Louis at Barnes Hospital, Washington University. She is the past-president of the American College of Rheumatology. Among the awards that she has received are the Joseph Bunim Medal and prize of the American College of Rheumatology and the Jane Wyman Humanitarian Award. Her current research focuses on the genetics, pathogenesis, and treatment of lupus. Among her current studies is the investigation of mechanisms of immune tolerance in lupus mice. She is using peptides derived from immunoglobulin molecules to test a novel approach to treatment of lupus.  

Brian Kotzin, MD
Vice President, Inflammation Clinical Development
Amgen Corporation

Dr. Kotzin has made important contributions to the genetic and immunologic analysis of autoimmunity in murine lupus models. His laboratory was one of the first to identify a lupus gene, encoding a protein induced by interferon. Prior to joining Amgen, Dr. Kotzin was Professor of Medicine and Immunology at University of Colorado.