About

Steering Committee

Photo of Professor Ed Vital

Professor Ed Vital

Associate Professor in Autoimmune Connective Tissue Diseases and Honorary Consultant Rheumatologist

University of Leeds, United Kingdom

Ed Vital is an Associate Professor in Autoimmune Connective Tissue Diseases and Honorary Consultant Rheumatologist, at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust in the UK. He is also the Head of Lupus Research Group with interests in early disease, skin disease, musculoskeletal outcome measures, translational immunology, and B cell therapies. He is also a Member of the SLEuro Executive Committee, Chair of the British Society for Rheumatology Special Interest Group for SLE, and Chair of the British Isles Lupus Activity Group. In 2019, he won the Michael Mason Prize (British Society of Rheumatology) and in 2018, the Medical Research Foundation Emerging Leaders Award.

Dr Vital studied Medicine and Surgery at the University of Manchester and became a Member of the Royal College of Physicians in 2004. In 2012, he completed his PhD, at the University of Leads, where he is now an Associate Professor.
His research interest is focusing on skin and musculoskeletal manifestations of lupus. He is interested in improving the understanding and treatment of these subsets of disease, by exploiting our institute’s established strengths in musculoskeletal imaging and rheumato-dermatology. His research themes include identifying people at risk of SLE for early diagnosis and treatment, stratified medicine and biomarkers, outcome measures, lupus arthritis, cutaneous lupus, B cell therapies and type I Interferons in autoimmunity.

Photo of Professor Richard Furie

Professor Richard Furie

Chief of Division of Rheumatology

Department of Medicine at Northwell Health, New York

Richard Furie is Chief of the Division of Rheumatology at the Department of Medicine, Northwell Health, New York, and Professor of Medicine at the Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwellwhere he is also working within the Department of Molecular Medicine. He is Director of the SLE and Autoimmune Disease Treatment Centre, and of Northwell Health System’s clinical research program in musculoskeletal disease, The Program in Novel Therapeutics. He has served on many committees of the American College of Rheumatology, including the Board of Directors.
Professor Furie trained at Cornell University Medical College. He completed his internship and residency at The New York Hospital, after which he became a Fellow in Rheumatic Diseases at the Hospital for Special Surgery. He was then certified by the American Boards of Internal Medicine and Rheumatology .
His research interests include systemic lupus erythematosus and related diseases, and he has been the primary investigator on approximately 100 trials. He presently sits as Co-Chair of the Clinical Trial Design Subcommittee of the Lupus Clinical Investigators Network as well as Co-Chair of the Lupus Industry Council of the Lupus Research Alliance. He has received several awards and honours throughout his career, including an award for Top Doctors: NY Metro Area (1997 and 1999) and the Department of Medicine Research Award (2020). He was also named Arthritis Foundation Walk Honoree in 2014.

Photo of Professor Laurent Arnaud

Professor Laurent Arnaud

Professor of Medicine

Strasbourg University School of Medicine, France

Laurent Arnaud is a Professor of Medicine at Strasbourg University School of Medicine, Strasbourg, France. At the University Hospital, he is a Senior Consultant in the Department of Rheumatology and his teaching duties include that of clinical examination and rheumatology to both MD and PhD candidates at undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate levels.

Following a MD degree from Assistance Publique - Hôpitaux de Paris and Université Pierre et Marie Curie (Paris, France) and a PhD in immunology at the same institution, Professor Arnaud completed a fellowship programme with a specialisation in auto-immune diseases, mainly Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, at Hôpital Pitié-Salpêtrière in Paris. He then pursued post-doctoral clinical research on systemic lupus in Stockholm, Sweden and was subsequently appointed full Professor of Medicine at Strasbourg University School of Medicine, Strasbourg, France.

Professor Arnaud is an active member of the French National Reference Center for Rare Autoimmune Diseases of Strasbourg, of the European Reference Networks for rare diseases ReCONNET & RITA and has been appointed President-Elect of the European Lupus Society (SLEuro). He is the curator of a twitter account (@Lupusreference) about raising lupus awareness, followed by more than 4800 people.

His main research interests focus on the development and systematic evaluation of biological and immunomodulatory treatments for systemic diseases, with particular interest in the pathogenesis, diagnosis, and treatment of lupus erythematosus and the antiphospholipid syndrome. With his team, he has contributed to more than 150 research projects in the field of rare diseases.

Photo of Professor Chris Edwards

Professor Chris Edwards

Consultant Rheumatologist and Honorary Chair of Clinical Rheumatology

University Hospital Southampton, UK

Professor Christopher Edwards is a Consultant Rheumatologist at the University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust and Honorary Chair of Clinical Rheumatology within the University of Southampton. He is also Associate Director of the NIHR Southampton Clinical Research Facility within the University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust and spent a year at the Tan Tok Seng Hospital in Singapore, gaining clinical experience in the management of severe lupus.

He attended medical school at King’s College London and trained at the Hammersmith and St George’s Hospital in London. He was a registrar for Professor Graham Hughes at the St Thomas’ Hospital Lupus Unit. He then undertook a period of research as a lecturer at the Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology at Imperial College, under the supervision of Professor Ravinder Maini.

His research interests are around lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, connective tissue disorders, Sjogren’s syndrome, vasculitis, and AS and PsA. He has been an investigator on a number of clinical trials of therapies for inflammatory rheumatic diseases. He is Clinical Director of the Southampton Musculoskeletal Research Unit, a recognised EULAR centre of excellence and is the Chair-Elect of the EULAR Education Committee. The Southampton Lupus Clinic has recently been recognised as a Lupus UK Centre of Excellence and Professor Edwards has been a member of BILAG for almost twenty years.

Photo of Professor Cynthia Aranow

Professor Cynthia Aranow

Director of the Clinical Autoimmunity Centre of Excellence

Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, New York

Cynthia Aranow is a Professor of Medicine and Director of the Clinical Autoimmunity Centre of Excellence at the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research in New York. She also serves on the executive board of the Systemic Lupus International Cooperating Clinics (SLICC) and has contributed to their multicentre international studies looking at clinical outcomes in lupus. In addition, Dr Aranow is a member of the national Medical Scientific Advisory Council of the Lupus Foundation of American (LFA), serves on the Steering Committee of the Lupus Research Alliance’s (LRA) Lupus Clinical Investigator’s Network (LuCIN), as well as the Steering Committees of the international effort to define remission in SLE, DORIS.

Professor Aranow received her medical degree from the NYU School of Medicine, and completed her internship, residency and rheumatologic training at Montefiore Hospital and Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York.

Her research interests focus on lupus outcomes, as well as studies investigating the pathogenesis of lupus and of neuropsychiatric lupus. Along with Dr Meggan Mackay, she is Co-director of the Clinical Trials Unit, and has extensive experience in running and designing clinical trials. She is currently a protocol chair of an NIH-funded clinical trial investigating an innovative approach for the treatment of lupus nephritis. She has published over 100 publications and chapters focused on the different aspects of lupus, and received the Edmund Dubois Memorial Award in recognition of excellence and accomplishment in the study of SLE.

Photo of Professor Eric Morand

Professor Eric Morand

Professor of Medicine and Head of the School of Clinical Sciences at Monash University, and Head of Rheumatology at Monash Health, in Melbourne Australia

Monash University, Melbourne, Australia

Eric Morand is Professor of Medicine and Head of the School of Clinical Sciences at Monash University, and Head of Rheumatology at Monash Health, in Melbourne Australia. He founded the Lupus Clinic at Monash Health, now Australia’s largest lupus cohort and biobank, which lead to the formation of the Australian Lupus Registry and Biobank, a national multicentre registry. He is a Member and former Board Member of the Australian Rheumatology Association, and an International Fellow of the American College of Rheumatology He founded and Chair’s the Asia Pacific Lupus Collaboration, now among the largest longitudinal cohorts of SLE patients ever assembled, with over 4,000 patients under longitudinal follow-up.

He trained in rheumatology in Australia and at the Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases, UK, before completing his PhD at Monash University, where he has led rheumatology research since. He was Principal Investigator of the TULIP-2 phase 3 trial of anifrolumab, the second ever targeted therapy with a positive phase 3 trial in lupus, currently under regulatory review worldwide.

His laboratory research programme focuses on the effects of glucocorticoid-induced proteins in the immune system, with the overarching goal of finding pathways to deliver glucocorticoid-mimicking therapeutic effects without adverse effects. This led to the description of the expression and function of four novel proteins in rheumatic disease tissues and models. Recent work on glucocorticoid-induced leucine zipper (GILZ) lead to the William E Paul Distinguished Innovator Award of the Lupus Research Alliance, New York, in 2015. In 2017, he Chaired the International Congress on SLE and is on the editorial advisory boards of Nature Reviews Rheumatology, The Lancet Rheumatology, and Lupus Science and Medicine. Professor Morand’s outputs.

Photo of Professor Vibeke Strand

Professor Vibeke Strand

Adjunct Clinical Professor of Immunology and Rheumatology

Stanford University School of Medicine, Palo Alto, California

Dr Vibeke Strand is an Adjunct Clinical Professor in the Division of Immunology/Rheumatology at the Stanford University School of Medicine in Palo Alto. She joined Stanford in 1993, having previously taught at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) School of Medicine (1981–1993). She has more than 40 years’ experience in clinical immunology, including positions as clinical investigator and subspecialist in private practice and clinical research positions in biotechnology firms. Since 1991 she has led a consulting practice offering clinical research and regulatory strategy expertise in rheumatologic diseases to pharmaceutical and biotech companies. She has participated in the development of most of the approved biologic and targeted synthetic agents in RA, PsA and SpA, including biosimilars, as well as promising and approved agents in SLE, OA, gout, FMS and HIV.
Dr Strand completed her medical degree at UCSF, after which she completed a primary care internal medical residency at Michigan State University and rheumatology fellowship at UCSF. Her expertise includes defining regulatory strategies and efficient clinical development programs for novel therapies for autoimmune diseases. She helps design, review and evaluate protocols and clinical development programmes, and facilitates interactions with the US Food and Drug Administration.
Since 1992 she has served as a founding member of the Executive Committee of Outcomes in Rheumatology [OMERACT] consensus conferences. Throughout her career, she has also been a member of several prominent medical committees, including the Scientific Advisory Board of the Consortium of Rheumatology Researchers of North America (CORRONA, now CorEvitas) and the Board of Directors and Medical and Scientific Committee of the Northern California chapter, Arthritis Foundation. She also serves on the Editorial Board for the Journal of Rheumatology and Rheumatology (Oxford). Dr. Strand has authored and co-authored over 450 publications, is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians (1982) and Master of the American College of Rheumatology (2015).

Photo of Professor Victoria Werth

Professor Victoria Werth

Chief, Division of Dermatology

Philadelphia Veterans Administration Hospital, Pennsylvania, USA

Victoria Werth is Chief of the Division of Dermatology at the Philadelphia Veterans Administration Hospital, Pennsylvania, USA.
Dr Werth earned her medical degree from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland. She completed a Residency in Internal Medicine at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago, Illinois, and a Dermatology Residency and Immunodermatology Fellowship at New York University School of Medicine. She joined the faculty at the University of Pennsylvania in 1989 and has developed an internationally recognised programme in autoimmune skin diseases.
She is a co-founder of the Rheumatologic Dermatology Society and Past President of the group. She is co-founder of the Medical Dermatology Society, and a recipient of their lifetime achievement award. She initiated the combined internal medicine/dermatology residency programme in USA, which has successfully trained prominent leaders in complex medical dermatology.
She has a longstanding interest in clinical and translational research pertaining to cutaneous lupus erythematosus, with a focus on improving the treatment and outcomes. She has developed and validated disease severity tools now used in many international trials in lupus erythematosus, with a goal to advancing evidence for current and new therapeutics targeting these diseases. Her laboratory studies include studies of the mechanisms of cutaneous lupus, biomarker studies in cutaneous lupus examining the heterogeneity of the disease that relate to pathogenesis, and ultraviolet light effects on skin. Her work has been funded by the Dermatology Foundation, NIH, the VA, the Department of Defense, numerous autoimmune disease foundations, and industry.

Photo of Professor Maria Dall’Era

Professor Maria Dall’Era

Professor of Medicine and Chief of the Division of Rheumatology

University of California, San Francisco, USA

Maria Dall’Era is the Jean S. Engleman Distinguished Professor of Medicine and Chief of the Division of Rheumatology at the University of California, San Francisco, USA. She is Director of the Rheumatology Clinical Research Center and the UCSF Lupus Center and Vice-Chair of the Steering Committee for the Lupus Clinical Investigators Network (LuCIN). In addition, she is Co-Chair of the Organising Committee for the American College of Rheumatology and 21st Century North American Lupus. She is the PI of a CDC-funded population- based longitudinal lupus cohort in the San Francisco Bay Area.
She completed her Medical Degree in 1997, from the University of California, San Francisco, where she later completed her Internship and Residency, and became Chief Resident and the Fellow. In 2000, she became Board Certified in Internal Medicine and in 2004, became Board Certified in Rheumatology.
Professor Dall’Era is a Peer Reviewer for a variety of journals including Arthritis & Rheumatism, Arthritis Care & Research, Journal of Rheumatology, Lupus Science and Medicine, Annals of Rheumatic Disease and Nephrology, Dialysis, Transplantation. She is a co-author of the Treatment of Lupus Nephritis chapter in Up-To-Date.
Her research interests include systemic lupus erythematosus, lupus nephritis, novel biologic agents, lupus nephritis outcomes, and clinical trials.

Faculty Members

Photo of Dr Lucy Carter

Dr Lucy Carter

Rheumatology Clinical Research Fellow

University of Leeds

Rheumatology Clinical Research Fellow at the University of Leeds

Photo of Professor David Isenberg

Professor David Isenberg

University College London

Academic Director of the UCL Centre for Rheumatology and Bloomsbury Rheumatology Unit