The Merinoff Symposia to Highlight New Research in Systemic Lupus

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The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research is hosting a three-day meeting for scientists interested in learning about the latest scientific studies underway in understanding and treating Systemic Lupus.

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Inflammatory reflex: Neural regulation of the immune system.

The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research is hosting a three-day meeting for scientists interested in learning about the latest scientific studies underway in understanding and treating Systemic Lupus. Feinstein scientists are known worldwide for their contributions to the field of immunology, and in particular lupus and other autoimmune diseases, and have organized a novel meeting to share the science with immunologists on the front lines of taking care of patients. This is the first international Merinoff Symposia, which will become an annual event hosted by The Feinstein Institute. The conference was organized by Betty Diamond, MD, head of the Center for Autoimmune and Musculoskeletal Disorders at The Feinstein; Peter K. Gregersen, MD, head of the Boas Center for Genomics and Human Genetics at The Feinstein; and Timothy Behrens, MD, senior director of ITGR Exploratory Clinical Development at Genentech.

Michael Nussenzweig, MD, PhD, will deliver the opening lecture on “Antibody Tolerance in Humans.” The meeting is designed to enable doctors and scientists to understand how the immune system works to protect against disease and how a faulty immune response can set the stage for disease. Understanding lupus is a window into how the immune system fails to protect itself. Lupus is an autoimmune disease that can target many body systems, including the brain, and cause a host of different and disabling symptoms. Scientists will speak about innate and adaptive immunity, and how B-cells and T-cells of the immune system are activated in lupus and ways that scientists are intervening to stop or slow this autoimmune disease. There will be talks on human disease and tissue responses; and genes and gene expression in autoimmune diseases.

Several Feinstein scientists will share their research. Dr. Diamond, a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, has spent decades unraveling the puzzle of lupus. Her most recent work centers on how the brain receives signals from the faulty immune system, and how this process triggers a number of psychiatric and cognitive problems. Kevin J. Tracey, MD, director and chief executive officer of The Feinstein Institute, will talk about his studies of the “Inflammatory reflex: Neural regulation of the immune system.” His work has shown how the brain speaks directly to the immune system and why this is critical in figuring out how autoimmune and pro-inflammatory conditions arise. Invited speakers come from all over the world and are experts in lupus and autoimmunity.

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Jamie Talan

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