Mariana J. Kaplan, M.D.

Mariana Kaplan, M.D., a longstanding NIAMS researcher and leader, has been promoted to the title of NIH Distinguished Investigator. NIH Distinguished Investigators have established a record of career-high achievements and are considered NIH’s most preeminent Senior Investigators – an honor which only 2 to 3% of investigators receive – with entrance requiring a special peer review process and approval by the NIH Director.

Dr. Kaplan is the NIAMS Deputy Scientific Director and serves as Chief of the Systemic Autoimmunity Branch. Dr. Kaplan's research has focused on identifying mechanisms of immune dysregulation, organ damage, and premature vascular disease in systemic autoimmunity. More specifically, she investigates how innate immunity promotes autoimmune responses and end-organ damage in systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis, and other systemic autoimmune diseases. 

Dr. Kaplan completed medical school at the National Autonomous University of Mexico and did her Internal Medicine Residency at the National Institute of Medical Sciences and Nutrition in Mexico City. She then completed a Rheumatology Fellowship and postdoctoral training at the University of Michigan. Dr. Kaplan joined NIAMS in 2013 and has continued to serve as a clinician and teacher throughout her tenure. In 2021, she was elected to the National Academy of Medicine for seminal contributions that have significantly advanced the understanding of the pathogenic role of the innate immune system in systemic autoimmune diseases, atherosclerosis, and immune-mediated vasculopathies. Read Dr. Kaplan’s bio to learn more.