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Emory doctor awarded 2019 Lupus Insight Prize

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Emory School of Medicine’s Chief of Rheumatology, Ignacio Sanz, MD, has been awarded the 2019 Lupus Insight Prize for discovering that certain little-understood immune system cells are a major source of harmful proteins for the disease. Sanz’s work could help doctors determine which patients could benefit from current drugs.

The award was announced June 19 at the 19th Annual Meeting of the Federation of Clinical Immunology Societies. The $100,000 award recognizes a major, novel insight and/or discovery that has the promise of changing thinking about lupus as well as a high probability of generating further advances in the diagnosis and treatment of the disease.

“I thank the Lupus Research Alliance for recognizing my work, and I am eager to pursue further research with the potential for improving patient treatment,” says Sanz.

Sanz’s discoveries were a breakthrough for understanding how certain B cells, a type of immune cell, trigger lupus. Researchers may be able to build on his discoveries to develop new drugs that could reduce patients’ risk and severity of disease flares.  

“Dr. Sanz has already made vital contributions to understanding the role of B cells in lupus,” says Kenneth M. Farber, President and CEO, Lupus Research Alliance. “We very much look forward to his next advances afforded by our Lupus Insight Prize.”

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