Allegheny Health Network's Susan Manzi, MD, Receives National Lupus Advocacy Award

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Susan Manzi, MD, MPH, Chair of the Department of Medicine at Allegheny Health Network, was presented with the Lupus Foundation of America’s National Advocacy Leadership Award this week in Washington, DC.

Susan Manzi, MD, MPH

Chairman Upton’s 21st Century Cures Act ... will help ensure that great science can see the light of day.

Susan Manzi, MD, MPH, Chair of the Department of Medicine at Allegheny Health Network, was presented with the Lupus Foundation of America’s (LFA) National Advocacy Leadership Award this week in Washington, DC.

The LFA presented awards recognizing a distinguished panel of honorees for their leadership and support of biomedical research to accelerate the development of new treatments for diseases like lupus at its National Advocacy Awards Dinner on June 16.

In addition, these leaders from Congress, federal agencies, industry and the research community participated in an exclusive “Capitol Conversation on 21st Century Cures” moderated by Chuck Todd, Host of Meet the Press.

Spearheaded by Congressman Fred Upton (R-MI), the 21st Century Cures initiative aims to bring new treatments and cures forward for lupus and many other diseases by: providing an additional $10 billion in funding to the National Institutes of Health (NIH); establishing a public-private partnership to collect data and improve our understanding of diseases; supporting patient-focused drug development; and modernizing clinical trial design and review process.

“There is a growing exodus of physician scientists from academia because of diminishing funding from the NIH,” Dr. Manzi said. “Similarly, it takes more than 10 years and $2.6 billion to move potential therapeutic agents through development and still only about 10% will be approved by the Food and Drug Administration.”

“Chairman Upton’s 21st Century Cure Act addresses many of these issues and will help ensure that great science can see the light of day. It is truly an honor to work closely with the Lupus Foundation of America and other professionals who are aligned with its mission on this critical initiative.”

A board-certified rheumatologist, Dr. Manzi co-founded and co-directs Allegheny Health Network’s Lupus Center of Excellence and has a special interest in autoimmune diseases. As a leader of her field, Dr. Manzi has played an important role in advancing quality, innovation and best practices that have improved the treatment of patients with autoimmune illnesses.

Dr. Manzi and her colleagues in the Lupus Center of Excellence helped design a new blood test to help clinicians diagnose lupus with greater ease and accuracy. The Avise-SLE test, which became commercially available in 2012, uses one blood sample from a patient to check for five distinct bio-markers that help to rule-in the diagnosis of systemic lupus erythematosus while ruling out other rheumatic diseases.

Dr. Manzi serves as a member of the LFA’s board of directors and medical advisory committee.

Other panelists and advocacy award recipients include: John J. Castellani, President and CEO of Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America; Mary Woolley, President and CEO of Research! America; and Francis S. Collins, MD, PhD, Director, National Institutes of Health. In addition, the Honorable Fred Upton, Chairman of the House Committee on Energy & Commerce, was presented with the LFA’s Congressional Champion Award.

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Jennifer Davis
Allegheny Health Network
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