J. Michelle Kahlenberg, M.D., PhD, celebrated for lupus research

October 22, 2018  //  FOUND IN: Accolades and Milestones

J. Michelle Kahlenberg, M.D., Ph.D.

Established in 2009, the annual Mary Betty Stevens Young Investigator Prize recognizes the remarkable accomplishments of an investigator in the early stages of their lupus career and memorializes Stevens’ outstanding contributions to lupus research throughout her career. It is given out by the Lupus Foundation of America.

This year’s winner is J. Michelle Kahlenberg, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor at Michigan Medicine!

Kahlenberg has made substantial contributions to the field of lupus-related skin diseases. She is the principal investigator on an ongoing study analyzing how specific chemicals in lupus skin contribute to skin inflammation. Kahlenberg is also running another study investigating how these chemicals regulate inflammation in response to ultraviolet (UV) light.

These studies will ultimately shed light on the factors that lead to the development of systemic autoimmunity. In addition, she is collaborating on work to study the traits in skin diseases that may explain why women are at higher risk of developing lupus. She also manages and mentors a laboratory team of undergraduate and graduate students, research fellows and medical students that study the factors that trigger skin inflammation flares in systemic and cutaneous lupus.

“I have seen many talented lupus researchers receive this award, and to be included in that group is an enormous honor that is truly humbling,” said Kahlenberg. “My lupus patients motivate me and drive the work I’m doing every day. Some of them suffer from the symptoms of the disease itself, while others suffer from the side effects of treatments. We need to do better to understand the reasons for the disease so that we can have more effective and better treatments to stop it.”

Learn more about the Mary Betty Stevens Young Investigator Prize.