Foundation Sponsors 20 Young Investigators at International Lupus Congress

Enabled Scientists to Present Abstracts, Join 1,100 Researchers, Clinicians, Advocates

International Lupus Congress 2007

Shanghai, China, May 2007 – Twenty immensely promising but just beginning investigators, all under age 40, joined leading researchers and clinical experts from around the globe as they converged in this famous port city to share cutting-edge developments in lupus science and treatment.

Congress Co-Chairman Daniel Wallace, MD, presented Young Investigator Awards at Opening Ceremony
Congress Co-Chairman Daniel Wallace, MD, presented
Young Investigator Awards at Opening Ceremony
Recipients from 11 countries and 17 academic and research institutions

The S.L.E. Lupus Foundation selected the investigators from among 38 applicants based on their background in lupus and the quality of their proposed research abstracts. Sponsorship included a $1,000 travel grant and a waiver of the Congress’ registration fee.

“These young investigators represent the future of global research in lupus,” said Daniel J. Wallace, MD, a Foundation Board Member and Lupus 2007 International Advisory Board Member. “Asia is a growing and critically important resource in understanding the environmental, genetic and clinical aspects of this perplexing autoimmune disease.”

The investigators’ abstracts ranged from findings in genetics to lupus pregnancies, late-onset lupus and the etiology of autoimmune diseases. Several also discuss biomarkers (“early markers”)—an exciting topic that the Foundation’s research partner, the Lupus Research Institute (LRI), explored in depth at a key session that it sponsored at the Conference. (More)

“I really enjoyed participating in the lupus conference in Shanghai,” said Amr H Sawalha, MD, once back at his laboratory at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center's Department of Medicine in Oklahoma City. “It was well organized, the content very balanced, and the speakers covered a wide spectrum of research areas in lupus. In addition to science, of course there is the social aspect and the opportunity to meet colleagues and friends from all over world who work on lupus, and build new collaborations.”

“Clearly the future—the hope and promise of better treatments and a cure for lupus—lies with the scientific talent that these young investigators represent,” noted Foundation Executive Director, Margaret Dowd.

The 20 investigators in Shanghai are:




Amr H Sawalha, MD


US Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center,
Department of Medicine,
University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center,
Arthritis and Immunology Program,
Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation

Chieko Kyogoku, PhD


Department of Rheumatic and Autoimmune Diseases
University of Minnesota Medical School

Maureen McMahon, MD


Division of Rheumatology
UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine

Patrice Decker, PhD


Institute for Cell Biology, Department of Immunology, University of Tübingen

Yaniv Sherer, MD


Department of Medicine B
Sheba Medical Center

Yui Ho Cheung, Hon. B.Sc.


Toronto Western Research Institute and University of Toronto

Haoyang Zhuang


Division of Rheumatology & Clinical Immunology,
University of Florida

Hui Wu, MD


UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine

Hu Nan


Second Xiangya Hospital, Central South University Changsha

Chang-Hee Suh, MD, PhD


Department of Allergy-Rheumatology, Ajou University School of Medicine

Umesh S. Deshmukh, PhD


Division of Rheumatology and Immunology, University of Virginia

Nikolina Mihaylova


Department of Immunology, Stefan Angelov Institute of Microbiology,
Bulgarian Academy of Sciences

Xiangshu Wen, MD, PhD


UCLA Division of Rheumatology

Millicent Y. Tan-Ong, MD


Joint and Bone Center
University of Santo Tomas Hospital

Elizabeth Amechazurra Edralin, MD


Joint and Bone Center
University of Santo Tomas Hospital

Yaser Ali


University of Toronto

Fabiola Atzeni, MD, PhD


Rheumatology Unit, L Sacco University Hospital, Milan-Italy

Di Yu


Division of Immunology and Genetics, John Curtin School of Medical Research, The Australian National University

Amy Hui-chien Kao


University of Pittsburgh
Division of Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology

Mohd Shahrir bin Mohamed Said


Department of Medicine
Faculty of Medicine
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia
Hospital Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia