Virginia Pascual, M.D.
Director, Gale and Ira Drukier Institute for Children’s HealthWeill Cornell Medicine
Dr. Pascual is a pediatric rheumatologist with long standing experience in Translational Research. Her laboratory is focused on understanding the pathogenesis, finding biomarkers to guide therapeutic interventions and identifying therapeutic targets for human inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, including Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE), various forms of Arthritis, as well as immune responses to a broad variety of infections and vaccinations. She is the Program Director of an NIAID-funded Autoimmunity Center of Excellence and a NIAMS-funded Center for Lupus Research. Pioneering genomic studies from her laboratory identified the role of dendritic cells and Interferon in SLE, and of cytokines such as IL1 in Systemic-onset JuvenileArthritis, which has led to successful therapeutic interventions in this disease. She also developed a personalized approach to identify molecular drivers of disease activity in pediatric SLE patients. This approach enabled the stratification of patients into seven major molecular subgroups, which might lead to improved design of clinical trials for this disease. More recently, Dr. Pascual’s team has identified novel roles for innate and adaptive immunity cells in lupus, including a non-conventional T cell helper population that might contribute to the pathogenesis of lupus nephritis.