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Mary Kirkland Center for Lupus Research

2005-2008 Kirkland Scholars

Lindsey A. Criswell, MD, MPH
Professor in Residence of Medicine, Division of Rheumatology
Associate Director, General Clinical Research Center
University of California, San Francisco

Dr. Criswell received her medical degree from the University of California, San Francisco and her MPH from the University of California, Berkeley. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship in rheumatology at the University of California, San Francisco. She joined the faculty of the UCSF Division of Rheumatology in 1992.

Her major academic activities include directing her research unit and serving as associate director of the UCSF General Clinical Research Center. Dr. Criswell also recently completed a DSc degree in genetic epidemiology at the Netherlands Institute of Health Sciences. In recognition of her research and mentoring contributions, Dr. Criswell received the Henry Kunkel Young Investigator Award from the American College of Rheumatology in 2003 and the Kirkland Scholar Award for the period 2006 through 2008.

The focus of Dr. Criswell’s research program is the genetics and epidemiology of human autoimmune disease, particularly rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). As part of the Multiple Autoimmune Disease Genetics Consortium (MADGC), she recently completed a detailed description of the initial 300 multiplex families, including an analysis of a recently discovered autoimmunity gene, PTPN22. A genome wide screen has also recently been completed among the largest of these multiplex autoimmune families, in collaboration with Myriad Genetics. Recent work utilizing the population-based Iowa Women’s Health Study cohort has focused on gene-environment interactions, where Dr. Criswell and collaborators have demonstrated interaction between exposure to tobacco smoke and two specific genetic risk factors. Some of her recent work in SLE indicates that exposure to tobacco smoke influences the production of anti-double stranded DNA autoantibodies. Ongoing candidate gene studies utilizing Dr. Criswell’s large SLE family cohort include investigations of viral receptor loci, CD45, PD1, ESR1, and renin angiotensin system polymorphisms. Recently initiated projects include a comprehensive, family-based study of the HLA region in SLE and RA using a panel of 2,400 SNP markers across the region. 

Lastly, she is collaborating on a study using admixture mapping methods to identify disease loci for SLE among African Americans, and an international SLE consortium project to perform a genome wide association study among a large group of Caucasian SLE cases and controls.

Anne Davidson, MBBS
Investigator, Feinstein Institute for Medical Research
Adjunct Professor, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine

Dr. Davidson earned her medical degree at the University of Melbourne, Australia and completed her residency and rheumatology fellowship at Monash University, Melbourne Australia and at the Albert Einstein Medical School in New York. She directed the rheumatology fellowship programs at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and then at Columbia University in New York before moving to the Autoimmunity Center of the Feinstein Institute in 2007.

Dr. Davidson has a longstanding interest in the pathogenesis of lupus. The goals of her laboratory are to understand how autoantibody producing B cells are regulated and to use newly-discovered pathways of B and T lymphocyte activation to design and test novel therapies for SLE. Recent work focuses on lupus nephritis and the role of immune cell activation in kidney damage. Translational studies are being performed in the setting of clinical trials to determine the efficacy and mechanism of action of new biologic agents that target immune activation in humans. Dr. Davidson is currently serving on the Medical and Scientific Committees of the New York Chapter of the Arthritis Foundation, the S.L.E. Lupus Foundation, and the Scientific Advisory Board of the American College of Rheumatology Research and Education Foundation. Additionally, she holds positions on numerous grant review committees.

Ellen Ginzler, MD
Professor of Medicine, Chief of Rheumatology
State University of New York Downstate Medical Center

Dr. Ginzler earned her medical degree from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland, Ohio, and earned her masters in public health from the Yale University School of Epidemiology and Public Health in New Haven, Connecticut. Dr. Ginzler completed her internship and residency at King’s County Hospital and Bellevue Hospital in New York. She completed her fellowship training in rheumatology at the State University of New York (SUNY) Downstate Medical Center and in epidemiology at Yale. Dr Ginzler is a Professor of Medicine at SUNY where she has served as Chief of Rheumatology since 1991.

Dr. Ginzler is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians. She serves on the Board of Governors of the New York Chapter of the Arthritis Foundation and was a member of the Board of Directors of the American College of Rheumatology’s Research and Education Foundation, among many other professional and institutional responsibilities. An active educator, researcher and author, Dr. Ginzler has published more than 80 scientific articles and book chapters in the field of systemic lupus erythematosus. Her particular area of clinical and academic focus is lupus and lupus nephritis, specifically its clinical course, treatment and epidemiology – with particular regard to outcomes and sociodemographic influences. She is an investigator for many clinical trials of new therapies for SLE, and is the director of Downstate’s clinical research site as part of the Lupus Clinical Trials Consortium.