For Immediate Release
Contact: Susan Preston
UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
Psoriasis Expert Named to National Academic Collaboration To Study
Immune-Mediated Inflammatory Disorders
Alice Gottlieb, M.D.,
Ph.D., a nationally recognized expert in the development of biotechnological
treatments for psoriasis at the University of Medicine and Dentistry
of New Jersey (UMDNJ), has been named to a newly established prestigious
academic collaboration studying a wide range of immunologic disorders.
The National Immune-Mediated
Inflammatory Disorders (I.M.I.D.) Academic Platform, a collaboration
of scientists and physicians from 19 leading universities and hospitals
across the country, is being launched at the annual meeting of the
Federation of Clinical Immunology Societies (FOCIS) in San Francisco
on June 28. The Academic Platform is dedicated to the research,
diagnosis, and treatment of I.M.I.D.- a group of disorders related
by involvement of the immune system, including rheumatoid arthritis,
Crohn's disease, multiple sclerosis, psoriasis, and asthma - that
share common inflammatory pathways.
Dr. Gottlieb, a board
certified specialist in internal medicine, rheumatology, and dermatology,
holds the William H. Conzen Chair in Clinical Pharmacology at the
University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ)-Robert
Wood Johnson Medical School and is the director of its Clinical
Research Center. Both a practicing dermatologist and a research
scientist, she is both a professor of medicine and of molecular
genetics, microbiology and immunology.
Her research over the
past two decades on the pathophysiology of psoriasis has led to
a new understanding of the disease. She was among the first to demonstrate
that psoriasis is a T cell-mediated immune disorder and her most
recent work has shown that treatment with immunobiologics targeting
Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha (Infliximab and Etanercept) clear psoriasis
clinically and histologically.
I.M.I.D. is characterized
by immune disregulation that results in acute or chronic inflammation,
causing injury to the body. Injury can include organ damage, increased
morbidity, or mortality. One underlying manifestation of this immune
disregulation is the inappropriate activation of inflammatory cytokines,
such as IL 12, IL 6 or TNF, whose actions lead to pathological consequences.
"Launching the Academic
Platform at the FOCIS meeting will allow experts from a variety
of medical disciplines to share their experiences treating I.M.I.D.
and will provide opportunities for meaningful research collaborations,"
said C. Garrison Fathman, M.D., Stanford University School of Medicine
and FOCIS program co-chair of the Platform committee meeting. "The
work that the Academic Platform will do to advance the study of
I.M.I.D. holds enormous potential for the progression of basic science,
clinical research and improved patient care that will likely impact
patients' quality of life.
"While it is not often
discussed, I.M.I.D. is widespread and has a significant impact on
patients and the national healthcare system," Dr. Fathman said.
"In fact, one in four patients admitted to hospitals across the
country suffers from some form of immune-mediated inflammatory condition."
FOCIS has defined I.M.I.D.
as a subspecialty, representing no single organ system or disease,
but rather a pathophysiological concept that unifies the field of
clinical immunology including, immunoregulation, immunodiagnosis,
immunogenetics and immunotherapy.
"As we move ahead into
the 21st century of medicine, the immunologist will play an increasingly
important part not only in conducting I.M.I.D. research, but in
diagnosing and treating patients with I.M.I.D.," said David Hafler,
M.D., Harvard Medical School professor of neurology at Brigham and
Women's Hospital and FOCIS co-chair. "I believe there will be a
significant need for immunologists whose expertise in I.M.I.D. can
potentially shape how medicine is practiced that crosses clinical
In addition to Drs.
Gottlieb, Fathman and Hafler, scientists and clinicians representing
16 academic institutions have been appointed to the platform committee
including Baylor College of Medicine, Cleveland Clinic Foundation,
Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, David Geffen School of Medicine
at UCLA, Duke University Medical Center, Feinberg School of Medicine
at Northwestern University, Johns Hopkins University, Mayo Clinic,
University of Alabama at Birmingham, University of Arizona College
of Medicine, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, University
of Iowa College of Medicine, University of Florida College of Medicine,
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, the University of
Pittsburgh School of Medicine, and Washington University School
of Medicine in St. Louis
The National Immune-Mediated
Inflammatory Disorders Academic Platform is supported by an unrestricted
educational grant from Centocor, Inc.