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Black Tie International:
10th Annual Lupus Luminary Luncheon for Science
Photos by: Jerry Speier
Dr. Anca Askanase with her patient Brianna Fitzpatrick.Photo by:  Jerry Speier
Dr. Anca Askanase with her patient Brianna Fitzpatrick

2019 Lupus Luminary Luncheon for Science Celebrates
Women of Achievement for Lupus Awareness Month

Campbell Brown, Kenneth Farber. Photo by:  Jerry Speier
Campbell Brown, Kenneth Farber
Jennie DeScherer, Amanda Gordon, Richard DeScherer. Photo by:  Jerry Speier
Jennie DeScherer, Amanda Gordon, Richard DeScherer
John Schiumo, Campbell Brown. Photo by:  Jerry Speier
John Schiumo, Campbell Brown
Melody Lee, Dr. Anca Askanase, Joan Von Feldt. Photo by:  Jerry Speier
Melody Lee, Dr. Anca Askanase, Joan Von Feldt
Akris Ai Bag. Photo by:  Jerry Speier
Akris Ai Bag
Anna Fisch, Haya Taitel. Photo by:  Jerry Speier
Anna Fisch, Haya Taitel
Alicee Griffith, Cindy Fiske, BNS. Photo by:  Jerry Speier
Alicee Griffith, Cindy Fiske, BNS
Apinal of London X Giles Trunk. Photo by:  Jerry Speier
Apinal of London X Giles Trunk
Barbara Rosenbloom, Kate Kelly. Photo by:  Jerry Speier
Barbara Rosenbloom, Kate Kelly
Brenda Blackmon, Jennie DeScherer, Heidi Fiske, Carol Weisman. Photo by:  Jerry Speier
Brenda Blackmon, Jennie DeScherer, Heidi Fiske, Carol Weisman
Brock Cannon, Veronica Vargas Lupo. Photo by:  Jerry Speier
Brock Cannon, Veronica Vargas Lupo
Catherine Osela, Mary Molnar, Christiana Molnar, Brianna Fitzpatrick, Trisha Gragera. Photo by:  Jerry Speier
Catherine Osela, Mary Molnar, Christiana Molnar, Brianna Fitzpatrick, Trisha Gragera
Grace Spring, Lori Griffith, Miki Herrick. Photo by:  Jerry Speier
Grace Spring, Lori Griffith, Miki Herrick
upus_Haya Taitel, Carol Weisman. Photo by:  Jerry Speier
lupus_Haya Taitel, Carol Weisman
Hermes Kelly Bag. Photo by:  Jerry Speier
Hermes Kelly Bag
Jane, Kirsten and little Jane Ircha. Photo by:  Jerry Speier
Jane, Kirsten and little Jane Ircha
Shannon De Vine, Gordana Jelic, Brett Heyman, Carol Weisman. Photo by:  Jerry Speier
Shannon De Vine, Gordana Jelic, Brett Heyman, Carol Weisman


NEW YORK, NY – May 7, 2019. The 10thannual Lupus Luminary Luncheon for Science honored the accomplishments of luminaries transforming lupus and other arenas. Campbell Brown, VP of Global News Partnerships at Facebook was recognized as a Woman of Achievement and lupus research supporter. This year’s Woman of Achievement in Clinical Research Award went to exceptional scientist and beloved physician, Anca Askanase, MD, MPH.

Dr. Askanase is Director of the Columbia University Lupus Center and serves on the Steering Committee of the Lupus Clinical Investigators Network (LuCIN) created by Lupus Research Alliance affiliate Lupus Therapeutics.

In accepting her award, Dr. Askanase commented, “I am dedicated to helping my patients overcome the many challenges lupus presents, but more treatments and a cure are urgently needed. The work the Lupus Research Alliance supports is critical in the path to new drug development, and volunteers are needed to participate in clinical research testing potential treatments.”

Sharing her experiences as a woman trying to make a mark in journalism, Ms. Brown noted how inspired she was by all the women in the room. “I’m so deeply moved by your resilience, your strength and persistence.  Whatever your dream, if you hang in there and believe in yourself, it can happen.”

The interview with Ms. Brown was conducted by John Schiumo, VP of Communications and Public Affairs, Global Strategy Group. The iconic luncheon was held once again at landmark hotel, The Plaza. Guests and visitors to the website, enjoyed opportunities to bid in a silent auction featuring handbags donated by top designers and enter a drawing for the highly exclusive Hermes Kelly bag.

“Celebrating its tenth anniversary, this signature event has raised millions for lupus research,” noted Lupus Research Alliance CEO and President, Kenneth M. Farber. “It has always spotlighted the achievements of women who excel in their field. This year, we are emphasizing the contributions to innovation and entrepreneurial spirit that align with the mission of the Lupus Research Alliance.”

Also recognized at the luncheon were people with lupus who go above and beyond to raise awareness of the disease among their communities by participating in events, fundraising, advocacy, speaking engagements and social media: Candy Brown, Shanelle Gabriel, Amanda Greene, Tiffany Peterson, and Brittany Salazar.

Past Women of Achievement served as this year’s honorary luncheon co-chairs: Former First Lady of New York State and accomplished author Matilda Raffa Cuomo; Brett Heyman, Founder of fashion company Edie Parker; and Veronica Vargas Lupo, Associate Partner, IBM.

 NY’s Leaders Turn Out for Lupus

Hundreds ofprominent women and men from New York’s fashion, society, media, entertainment, publishing, philanthropic and lupus communitiessupported the event.Many members of the Lupus Research AllianceBoard of Directors wereactively involved in the luncheon includingBrenda Blackmon, Jennie DeScherer,Katey Driscoll,and Carol Weisman.Bonnie Lautenberg, Heidi Fiske, Fern Kaye Tessler, Grace Spring, and Teri Wilford Woodwereamong the dedicated philanthropists in attendance.

Supporters from the fashion industry included:Karen Giberson, President of the Accessories Council; representative from Chanel Shannon De Vine; and AKRIS Store Director GordanaJelic.

About Lupus
Lupus is a chronic, complex autoimmune disease that affects millions of people worldwide. More than 90% of people with lupus are women; lupus most often strikes during the childbearing years of 15-45. African Americans, Latinx, Asians and Native Americans are two to three times at greater risk than Caucasians. In lupus, the immune system, which is designed to protect against infection, creates antibodies that can attack any part of the body including the kidneys, brain, heart, lungs, blood, skin, and joints.

About the Lupus Research Alliance
The Lupus Research Alliance aims to transform treatment while advancing toward a cure by funding the most innovative lupus research in the world. The organization’s stringent peer review grant process fosters diverse scientific talent who are driving discovery toward better diagnostics, improved treatments and ultimately a cure for lupus.  Because the Lupus Research Alliance’s Board of Directors fund all administrative and fundraising costs, 100% of all donations goes to support lupus research programs.



joyce brooks, gerard mckeon.  photo by:  rose billings

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