SOURCE: Lupus Foundation of America

Lupus Foundation of America

March 17, 2016 10:44 ET

Lupus Foundation of America Expands Medical-Scientific Staff

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwired - March 17, 2016) - The Lupus Foundation of America (Foundation) announces the appointment of Joan T. Merrill, M.D. as Chief Advisor, Clinical Development and Susan Manzi, M.D., M.P.H. as the new Medical Director.

In her new role, Dr. Merrill will focus on shifting the drug development paradigm in lupus, including development of a new instrument for use in clinical trials and clinical practice, as well as an online training program for physicians conducting clinical trials, among other innovative projects.

"On behalf of the Lupus Foundation of America, Dr. Merrill has made enormous contributions to advancing the science and medicine of lupus having been our founding medical director for 12 years," said Sandra C. Raymond, President and CEO of the Foundation. "We look forward to working with her in this new role."

As Lupus Foundation of America Medical Director, Dr. Susan Manzi will lead efforts to address gaps in education and the health care needs of people with lupus. The work will advance the science and medicine of lupus, improve education programs and expand educational materials, as well as representing the Foundation on policy matters affecting the health and quality of life for people with lupus.

"We are thrilled that Dr. Manzi will be serving as our next Medical Director as she is widely recognized as a leader in lupus patient care and research and a pioneer in the scientific investigation of cardiovascular disease in people with lupus."

Drs. Merrill and Manzi will collaborate on projects to bring down barriers to treatment development and access for lupus patients.

Dr. Manzi is Chair of Medicine, Allegheny Health Network and Co-Founder and Director of the Lupus Center of Excellence in Pittsburgh, PA. Dr. Manzi has served on the Foundation's Board of Directors for nine years and is a member of the Foundation's Medical Scientific Advisory Committee.

Dr. Merrill is a member of the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation where she founded a clinical pharmacology research program to study new biologic treatments that act on the immune system. She is also an OMRF Professor of Medicine at the University of Oklahoma.

For more information on lupus and the Lupus Foundation of America, please visit lupus.org.

About Lupus

Lupus is an unpredictable and misunderstood autoimmune disease that ravages different parts of the body. It is difficult to diagnose, hard to live with and a challenge to treat. Lupus is a cruel mystery because it is hidden from view and undefined, has a range of symptoms, strikes without warning, and has no known cause and no known cure. Its health effects can range from a skin rash to a heart attack. Lupus is debilitating and destructive and can be fatal, yet research on lupus remains underfunded relative to diseases of similar scope and devastation. 

About the Lupus Foundation of America

The Lupus Foundation of America is the only national force devoted to solving the mystery of lupus, one of the world's cruelest, most unpredictable and devastating diseases, while giving caring support to those who suffer from its brutal impact. Through a comprehensive program of research, education, and advocacy, we lead the fight to improve the quality of life for all people affected by lupus. Learn more about the Lupus Foundation of America at lupus.org. For the latest news and updates, follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

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