Our goal is to understand more about lupus, specifically systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), through studying diverse patients around the globe. Dr. Lewandowski is a clinician-scientist and has seen the impact of SLE on her patients, including severe inflammation and organ damage, when the disease begins in childhood. Our major focus is to learn more about lupus through the study of patients with early onset of disease. We aim to use cutting-edge genomic and transcriptomic methods to further the understanding of SLE.  

Dr. Lewandowski has worked internationally studying SLE. She has established collaborations to understand how lupus affects children throughout the world. Her previous work determined that pediatric lupus patients in South Africa had severe disease and high rates of non-reversible damage from inflammation. Dr. Lewandowski now aims to more fully understand the drivers of severe disease in childhood-onset patients globally using genomics and transcriptomic techniques. Our lab believes that lupus is a heterogeneous disease, and there are likely multiple molecular pathways that lead to this diagnosis. Through studying a diverse patient population, we aim to better understand the mechanism of disease. Defining those pathways in global populations can lead to a more refined, molecular categorization of patients. Our work is patient-focused, and our mission is to identify important targets in SLE that could be modified with precise therapeutics. We believe that the more we understand about lupus patients everywhere, the more we understand about lupus in all of our patients.

Contact Us

Jazmon McNair

Program Support Specialist
10 Center Drive
Building 10, Room 12N248
Bethesda MD 20892

Core Research Facilities

Labs at the NIAMS are supported by the following state-of-the-art facilities and services:


Former Lab Members

Faith Simmonds, Postbaccalaureate Fellow (2021-2023)
Sneha Dass, Postbaccalaureate Fellow (2020-2022)
Kathleen Vazzana, Clinical Fellow (2019-2021)

Scientific Publications

Selected Recent Publications

Transmission disequilibrium analysis of whole genome data in childhood-onset systemic lupus erythematosus.

Vazzana KM, Musolf AM, Bailey-Wilson JE, Hiraki LT, Silverman ED, Scott C, Dalgard CL, Hasni S, Deng Z, Kaplan MJ, Lewandowski LB
Genes Immun.
2023 Aug;
doi: 10.1038/s41435-023-00214-x
PMID: 37488248

Towards development of treat to target (T2T) in childhood-onset systemic lupus erythematosus: PReS-endorsed overarching principles and points-to-consider from an international task force.

Smith EMD, Aggarwal A, Ainsworth J, Al-Abadi E, Avcin T, Bortey L, Burnham J, Ciurtin C, Hedrich CM, Kamphuis S, Levy DM, Lewandowski LB, Maxwell N, Morand EF, Ozen S, Pain CE, Ravelli A, Saad Magalhaes C, Pilkington CA, Schonenberg-Meinema D, Scott C, Tullus K, Beresford MW, cSLE T2T International Task Force
Ann Rheum Dis.
2023 Jun;
doi: 10.1136/ard-2022-223328
PMID: 36627168

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

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

Update on cardiovascular disease in lupus.

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

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

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

Missed opportunities for timely diagnosis of pediatric lupus in South Africa: a qualitative study.

Lewandowski LB, Watt MH, Schanberg LE, Thielman NM, Scott C
Pediatr Rheumatol Online J.
2017 Feb 23;
doi: 10.1186/s12969-017-0144-6
PMID: 28231857

Pediatric systemic lupus erythematosus patients in South Africa have high prevalence and severity of cardiac and vascular manifestations.

Harrison MJ, Zühlke LJ, Lewandowski LB, Scott C
Pediatr Rheumatol Online J.
2019 Nov 26;
doi: 10.1186/s12969-019-0382-x
PMID: 31771606

Rheumatology capacity building: implementing a rheumatology curriculum for Liberian health-care providers in 2016.

Lewandowski LB, Schiffenbauer A, Mican JM, Moses SJ, Fallah MP, Plotz P, Katz JD
Clin Rheumatol.
2020 Mar;
doi: 10.1007/s10067-019-04817-6
PMID: 31960207

Improving musculoskeletal health for children and young people - A 'call to action'.

Foster HE, Scott C, Tiderius CJ, Dobbs MB, Members of the Paediatric Global Musculoskeletal Task Force
Best Pract Res Clin Rheumatol.
2020 Oct;
doi: 10.1016/j.berh.2020.101566
PMID: 32727697

A Markov Multi-State model of lupus nephritis urine biomarker panel dynamics in children: Predicting changes in disease activity.

Smith EMD, Eleuteri A, Goilav B, Lewandowski L, Phuti A, Rubinstein T, Wahezi D, Jones CA, Marks SD, Corkhill R, Pilkington C, Tullus K, Putterman C, Scott C, Fisher AC, Beresford MW
Clin Immunol.
2019 Jan;
doi: 10.1016/j.clim.2018.10.021
PMID: 30391651

Growing international evidence for urinary biomarker panels identifying lupus nephritis in children - verification within the South African Paediatric Lupus Cohort.

Smith EMD, Lewandowski LB, Jorgensen AL, Phuti A, Nourse P, Scott C, Beresford MW
2018 Dec;
doi: 10.1177/0961203318808376
PMID: 30348048

Meta-analysis of crowdsourced data compendia suggests pan-disease transcriptional signatures of autoimmunity.

Lau WW, Sparks R, OMiCC Jamboree Working Group, Tsang JS
doi: 10.12688/f1000research.10465.1
PMID: 28491277

Nuclear export of signal recognition particle RNA in mammalian cells.

Alavian CN, Politz JC, Lewandowski LB, Powers CM, Pederson T
Biochem Biophys Res Commun.
2004 Jan 9;

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