Laura Lewandowski, M.S., M.D., received her medical degree from Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine and her undergraduate degree from the College of the Holy Cross. She completed pediatric residency training at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center and went on to serve as a chief resident in pediatrics. Dr. Lewandowski completed a combined four-year pediatric rheumatology/global health fellowship at Duke University Medical Center, during which she characterized a pediatric lupus patient cohort in South Africa. She holds a Masters in Global Health from Duke University. During her fellowship, she established a registry of pediatric lupus patients that continues to grow and is now the largest cohort in sub-Saharan Africa. Dr. Lewandowski was awarded a Fogarty Global Health Fellowship and a Lupus Foundation Early Career award for her work with pediatric lupus patients in South Africa.

In 2015, she joined the NIAMS under Dr. Mariana Kaplan as a Lawrence Shulman Scholar in Translational Medicine. She currently holds the position of assistant clinical investigator and Head of the Lupus Genomics and Global Health Disparities Unit at the NIAMS (NIH).

Research Statement

The Lewandowski Lab seeks to use genomics and transcriptomics to further understand the pathogenesis of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). The lab's primary research focus is studying the genetic changes in early-onset SLE patients to understand important drivers of disease pathogenesis. By including diverse populations of pediatric SLE patients in our research studies, we hope to broaden the understanding of differences in disease manifestations and severity in patients of different ancestries around the world. Dr. Lewandowski also has an interest in advancing rheumatology care and research in lower resourced settings.

Dr. Lewandowski is a clinician who sees pediatric patients with SLE as part of the NIAMS Lupus Team at the NIH Clinical Center. She has held several leadership positions, including serving as co-chair of the Childhood Arthritis and Rheumatic Diseases Research Alliance (CARRA) Lupus Nephritis workgroup, co-chair of the CARRA Lupus Genetics Workgroup, chair of the CARRA Translation Research and Technology Committee Data Management, and chair of the CARRA Annual Meeting Planning Committee. Dr. Lewandowski is a member of the Early Career Investigator Committee within the American College of Rheumatology. Also, she has mentored students and trainees in North America and South Africa in rheumatology research. She is a USA representative on the Paediatric Musculoskeletal Task Force. She has published widely on lupus in Africa and the challenges to rheumatology clinical care, education, and practice in less-resourced countries.

Scientific Publications

Principles of pediatric lupus nephritis in a prospective contemporary multi-center cohort.

Vazzana KM, Daga A, Goilav B, Ogbu EA, Okamura DM, Park C, Sadun RE, Smitherman EA, Stotter BR, Dasgupta A, Knight AM, Hersh AO, Wenderfer SE, Lewandowski LB, CARRA Registry investigators
2021 Sep;
doi: 10.1177/09612033211028658
PMID: 34219529

Tackling global challenges in pediatric rheumatology.

Lewandowski LB
Curr Opin Rheumatol.
2020 Sep;
doi: 10.1097/BOR.0000000000000726
PMID: 32657804

Global rheumatology in the time of COVID-19.

Lewandowski LB, Hsieh E
Lancet Rheumatol.
2020 May;
doi: 10.1016/S2665-9913(20)30091-6
PMID: 32368736

Update on cardiovascular disease in lupus.

Lewandowski LB, Kaplan MJ
Curr Opin Rheumatol.
2016 Sep;
doi: 10.1097/BOR.0000000000000307
PMID: 27227346

Survival in adults and children with systemic lupus erythematosus: a systematic review and Bayesian meta-analysis of studies from 1950 to 2016.

Tektonidou MG, Lewandowski LB, Hu J, Dasgupta A, Ward MM
Ann Rheum Dis.
2017 Dec;
doi: 10.1136/annrheumdis-2017-211663
PMID: 28794077

Severe disease presentation and poor outcomes among pediatric systemic lupus erythematosus patients in South Africa.

Lewandowski LB, Schanberg LE, Thielman N, Phuti A, Kalla AA, Okpechi I, Nourse P, Gajjar P, Faller G, Ambaram P, Reuter H, Spittal G, Scott C
2017 Feb;
doi: 10.1177/0961203316660625
PMID: 27488473


Penn State University College of Medicine, Hershey, PA

Duke University, Durham, NC    
M.S., Global Health


National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD
Lawrence Shulman Scholar in Translational Research (2020)

Duke University Medical School, Durham, NC
Pediatric Rheumatology Fellowship (2015)

Duke Global Health Institute, Durham, NC
Global Health Fellowship (2015)

University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA
Chief Resident (2011)

University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA
Pediatric Residency (2010)

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