March 24, 2022
Recognized for her contributions to lupus during 2022’s Women’s History Month, Dr. Jane Salmon chose to specialize in lupus research because it was there that she felt she could be of greatest value. “There were so many unknowns in lupus with all its complexity. Here was a disease primarily affecting young women who were no different than me except they had lupus and I didn’t. At the time there wasn’t much emphasis on studying women’s diseases, but I was excited to be able to be a scientific advocate for women with such medical needs.”
In keeping with her interest in helping young women, Dr. Salmon’s research has focused primarily on preventing lupus-related complications to pregnancy. “Early in my career, the LRA jumpstarted my work in discovering the role of inflammation in pregnancy, and having proven my ideas, I was then able to get federal funding to delve further.”
Dr. Salmon has spent much of her career at the highly prestigious Hospital for Special Surgery where she is the Collette Kean Research Professor. She also is Professor of Medicine and Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Weill Cornell Medicine and serves as Associate Dean of Faculty Affairs.
Helping women have successful pregnancies continues to be Dr. Salmon’s passion. She is particularly excited to be leading the new IMPACT clinical trial, the first trial to use a biologic therapy to prevent serious complications in high risk pregnancies in women who have lupus and antiphospholipid syndrome (APS). APS occurs when the immune system creates damaging antibodies that circulate in the blood and can injure the placenta.
On her ambitious to-do list for the future is to find a way to limit inflammatory immune disease by targeting the blood vessels to serve as gatekeepers and prevent dangerous mediators from escaping and injuring organs. And she is developing a tool for rheumatologists and obstetricians to identify those women with lupus who are at high risk for pregnancy complications and should be referred to a specialist who is experienced in the type of care they need.
Dr. Salmon sees her service on the LRA’s Scientific Advisory Board as an opportunity to implement their visionary strategy, to take risks and look at things that other organizations don’t. “We are addressing diversity in the scientific workforce, fostering collaborations with other disciplines, investing in the most innovative ideas, and bringing together experts from many fields to focus their ideas on lupus. In short, the LRA is doing it all!”