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October 6, 2020
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November 18, 2020

National Briefing on COVID-19 & Autoimmune Disease: Research Insights, Treatment & Prevention

National Briefing on COVID-19 & Autoimmune Disease: Research Insights, Treatment & Prevention

Recorded October 30, 2020


This AARDA National Briefing addresses recent research on the experience of autoimmune patients with COVID-19, emerging treatment options, and prospects for prevention through vaccines and vaccination.

Dr. Betty Diamond, Chair of AARDA Scientific Advisory Board, and Director & Professor, Institute of Molecular Medicine, Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research, will moderate the National Briefing.


Daniel Rotrosen, MD Director of the Division of Allergy, Immunology, and Transplantation (DAIT)

Dr. Rotrosen provides scientific leadership and programmatic direction for the DAIT extramural research portfolio. Under his leadership, DAIT has developed transformative approaches to data transparency and public access. Two open-access data portals, TrialShare and ImmPort, enable users to view and download complete data sets used in published manuscripts and provides tools for data visualization, re-analysis, and alternative hypothesis generation. DAIT also supports a variety of reagent resources, databases, and bioinformatics tools that facilitate basic, preclinical, and clinical immunology research.

DAIT serves as the lead for research on allergic, autoimmune diseases, and organ transplantation at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). It supports a dynamic and innovative portfolio of investigator-initiated fundamental immunology research. An area of ongoing emphasis is the development and evaluation of novel approaches to induce immunological tolerance in immune-mediated disorders. Additionally, DAIT sponsors numerous clinical trials that incorporate a strong emphasis on underlying immunological mechanisms. The division has a longstanding commitment to improving our understanding of childhood asthma and to expanding asthma treatment options for disadvantaged children living in our nation’s inner cities.

Dr. Rotrosen graduated from Boston University School of Medicine in 1978. He completed internship, residency, and fellowship training at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles and is board certified in Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases. He was elected to membership in The American Society for Clinical Investigation, is a fellow of the Infectious Diseases Society of America, and is a member of The American Association of Immunologists and the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.

Dr. Rotrosen has received numerous awards for scientific management and leadership, including two U.S Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary’s Awards for Distinguished Service, the HHS Secretary’s Outstanding Team Performance Award, and the NIH Director’s Group Award. Dr. Rotrosen served as co-chair of the Immunity and Inflammation Steering Committee of the Foundation for NIH Biomarkers Consortium. He also is a member of the Steering Committee of the Federation of Clinical Immunology Societies.


Arturo Casadevall, MD, MScChair, Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Alfred & Jill Sommer Professor and Chair, Bloomberg Distinguished Professor

Dr. Arturo Casadevall is a professor of medicine at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. He holds a joint appointment in molecular microbiology and immunology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. His research focuses on how microbes cause disease and how the immune system defends itself.

Dr. Casadevall serves as chair of the W. Harry Feinstone Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
He received his M.S., Ph.D. and M.D. from New York University.
His team is currently engaged in understanding how hosts defend against the fungus Cryptococcus neoformans.

Dr. Casadevall’s work has been recognized with numerous awards, including the American Society for Microbiology Founders Distinguished Service Award, the National Institutes of Health Merit Award and the Rhoda Benham Award from Medical Mycology Society of America. He was elected to the National Academy of Medicine and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.


Zachary Wallace, MD, MScAssistant Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School

Dr. Zachary Wallace is a rheumatologist and clinical researcher at Massachusetts General Hospital and an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts. He received his medical degree from Georgetown University and completed his internal medicine residency and rheumatology fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital. He has a Masters of Science in Epidemiology from the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health.

He is a member of the Steering Committee of the COVID-19 Global Rheumatology Alliance, an international organization studying the impact of COVID-19 on patients with rheumatic diseases and the broader rheumatology community. In addition to COVID-19, Dr. Wallace conducts clinical epidemiology research in multi-system rheumatic diseases, particularly IgG4-related disease and ANCA-associated vasculitis.

His research is conducted in the Clinical Epidemiology Program of the Division of Rheumatology, Allergy, and Immunology at the Mongan Institute of Massachusetts General Hospital. His research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Rheumatology Research Foundation, the Executive Committee on Research at MGH, and industry.



Lilly StairsBetty Diamond, MD Chair, AARDA Scientific Board

Dr. Betty Diamond graduated with a BA from Harvard University and an MD from Harvard Medical School. She performed a residency in internal medicine at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center and received postdoctoral training in immunology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

Dr. Diamond has headed the rheumatology divisions at Albert Einstein School of Medicine and at Columbia University Medical Center. She also directed the Medical Scientist Training Program at Albert Einstein School of Medicine for many years. She is currently head of the Center for Autoimmune, Musculoskeletal and Hematopoietic Diseases at The Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research and director of the PhD and MD/PhD programs of the Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell.

A former president of the American Association of Immunology, Dr. Diamond has also served on the Board of Directors of the American College of Rheumatology and the Scientific Council of the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS). Dr. Diamond is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and a member of the National Academy of Medicine.

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