The Ross Prize Advisory Committee
The Ross Prize Advisory Committee is composed of the following six members: Christopher J Czura (Molecular Medicine), Betty Diamond (Molecular Medicine), Peter K Gregersen (The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research), Lars Klareskog (Karolinska Institutet), Klas Kärre (Karolinska Institutet), and Kevin J Tracey (The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research).
Christopher J Czura, PhD

Christopher J. Czura received his B.S. in biotechnology from William Paterson University in 1996 and a PhD in molecular microbiology from Stony Brook University in 2009. Dr. Czura is Vice President of the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, Executive Editor of Molecular Medicine, and Executive Producer of the Merinoff Symposium Series. Dr. Czura’s research interests focus on autonomic neural regulation of hemostasis and inflammation. He is author or co-author on approximately 80 peer-reviewed publications, book chapters and meeting abstracts, and co-inventor on two pending patent applications.

Betty Diamond, MD

Betty Diamond received an MD from Harvard Medical School in 1973.  She performed a residency in Internal Medicine at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center, and then a post-doctoral fellowship in Immunology with Dr. Matthew Scharff at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine.  She is currently Head of the Autoimmune Disease Center at the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, and on the faculty of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Dr Diamond’s research has focused on the induction and pathogenicity of anti-DNA antibodies in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus. She received the Outstanding Investigator Award of the ACR in 2001, the Lee Howley Award from the Arthritis Foundation in 2002, and the Recognition Award from the National Association of MD-PhD Programs in 2004 and was elected to the Institute of Medicine in 2006.  Dr. Diamond has served on the Scientific Council of NIAMS, the Board of Directors of the American College of Rheumatology and is a past president of the American Association of Immunologists.

Peter K Gregersen, MD

Peter K. Gregersen received his MD from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1976, and completed a rheumatology fellowship at the Hospital for Joint Diseases in 1984.  During the 1980’s, Dr. Gregersen cloned and sequenced the major HLA class II alleles associated with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and first described the “shared epitope” hypothesis to explain the complex pattern of HLA associations with RA.  In the 1990’s he founded the North American Rheumatoid Arthritis Consortium (NARAC), and along with his collaborators, has defined the majority of risk genes associated with rheumatoid arthritis, now numbering over 40 loci.  Dr. Gregersen has collaborated extensively on genetic studies of many other human autoimmune disorders, and is also pursuing genetic studies of several neurocognitve traits including absolute pitch and synesthesia. In 2007 Dr. Gregersen was the recipient of the Klemperer Medal from New York Academy of Medicine as well as the Distinguished Basic Investigator Award from the American College of Rheumatology. He was elected to membership in the Association of American Physicians in 2009.

Lars Klareskog, MD, PhD

Lars Klareskog is studying the causes behind chronic inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis (chronic rheumatism of the joints). His efforts have led to a more in-depth and updated understanding of how individual life style factors interacting with the patient's genetic constitution can cause immunological reactions and give rise to various chronic inflammatory diseases. This research has contributed to the development of new, successful treatments of rheumatoid arthritis built on both cellular and molecular mechanisms. Over several years, his research group has gathered information from large patient groups, such as DNA, serums, information about life style and occupation as well as clinical data. It is this data - among other things - that they will now use to find links between genetic deviations and environmental factors. He is a part of broad international networks for rheumatological and immunological research, and coordinates a large EU-funded project.

Klas Kärre, MD, PhD

Klas Kärre received his doctorate in 1981 from the Karolinska Institute and has been a Molecular Immunology Professor there since 1993 where he collaborates with the Department of Microbiology, Tumor and Cell Biology. Dr. Kärre coined the term “the missing self hypothesis”, which describes a mechanism by which natural killer (NK) cells identify and kill their targets. In 1998, Dr. Kärre was presented with the William B. Coley Award. He became a member of the Nobel Committee for Physiology or Medicine in 2006 and its chairman in 2009. Dr. Kärre was elected a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in 2009.

Kevin J. Tracey, MDKevin J Tracey, MD

Kevin Tracey received a B.S. in Chemistry from Boston College in 1979, an M.D. from Boston University in 1983, and holds a doctorate honoris causa from the Karolinska Institute. He completed his clinical training in neurosurgery at The New York Hospital in 1992. Dr. Tracey is the President of the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, Professor and President of the Elmezzi Graduate School of Molecular Medicine, Director of the Laboratory of Biomedical Sciences, Head of the Center for Biomedical Sciences (Feinstein Institute), and Editor in Chief of Molecular Medicine. Dr. Tracey is a neurosurgeon by training and his laboratory’s contributions to science include discovering HMGB1, a pivotal mediator of sterile and infectious inflammation, and delineating the molecular and neurophysiological basis of neural circuits that control immunity. He has been involved in molecular target research and the preclinical and clinical development of numerous experimental and FDA-approved drugs.

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