2017 Congressional Visits

August 23, 2017

NIAMS Highlights Collaborative Research at Lupus Summit

NIAMS Deputy Director Dr. Robert Carter took part in a National Policy Summit hosted by the Lupus Foundation of America in downtown Washington, D.C., on June 26, 2017. Dr. Carter represented NIAMS and NIH in two panels during the daylong event which brought together lupus clinician and patient advocacy communities to discuss promising future research directions to improve the lives of people with lupus.

Photo of Dr. Carter and others at the lupus summit.

NIAMS Deputy Director Dr. Robert Carter (third from left) speaks on the
importance of lupus research alongside moderator Dr. Susan Manzi (left),
and panelists Monique Gore-Massy (second from left), and Michele M.
Oshman (right).

The first panel explored priorities, challenges and progress in lupus research and drug development. Dr. Carter emphasized the importance of NIH-funded basic research and highlighted current research efforts within the NIAMS intramural Systemic Autoimmunity Branch and the NIAMS extramural Center of Research Translation in lupus. He also stressed the significance of research collaborations, such as the Accelerating Medicines Partnership (AMP), a public-private partnership that aims to identify better targets for drug development in lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. The full panel included:

  • Susan Manzi, M.D., M.P.H., Chair, Department of Medicine, Allegheny Health Network (Moderator)
  • Robert H. Carter, M.D., Deputy Director, National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases
  • Monique Gore-Massy, Lupus Patient Advocate
  • Michele M. Oshman, Director, Federal Advocacy and Alliance Development, Eli Lilly and Company
  • Janet Woodcock, M.D., Director, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration

The second panel highlighted the role of federal agencies in lupus research, education and awareness. NIAMS is the lead Institute at the NIH for lupus research. Dr. Carter called attention to successful partnerships between NIAMS, additional NIH Institutes and Centers, other federal agencies, voluntary and professional organizations and industry groups in the area of lupus. "The NIAMS-led Lupus Federal Working Group facilitates collaboration among federal agencies, non-profits and industry. These partnerships give hope and can fundamentally change how we engage with patients and do lupus research," said Dr. Carter. This panel included several speakers:

  • Jill P. Buyon, M.D., Director, Division of Rheumatology, Department of Medicine, New York University (Moderator)
  • Joseph M. Ahearn, M.D., Director, Asthma Allergy and Autoimmunity Institute, Director, Lupus Center of Excellence
  • Robert H. Carter, M.D., Deputy Director, National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases
  • Margaret J. Kaniewski, M.P.H., Project Officer, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Evelyn Lewis, M.D., American Academy of Family Physicians
  • Wendy Rodgers, Lupus Patient Advocate

An estimated 200 attendees participated in this years summit, which provided the lupus community a platform to share their daily struggles with the disease, and demonstrate the need for further research and better treatments. NIAMS continues to accomplish its mission of improving health outcomes for those with lupus by supporting basic and translational research that will impact clinical practice, training the next generation of scientists, and disseminating the findings from its studies to the public.