Dr. Laura Lewandowski completed pediatric residency training at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center and went on to serve as a chief resident in pediatrics. During her chief resident year, she developed a specialty track for pediatric residents in Global Health, including curriculum design and coordination of international rotations. She completed a combined four-year pediatric rheumatology/ global health fellowship at Duke University Medical Center, during which she characterized a pediatric lupus patient cohort in South Africa. She holds a Masters in Global Health from Duke University. During her fellowship, she collaborated with Dr. Chris Scott to establish a registry of pediatric lupus patients that continues to grow and is now the largest cohort in sub-Saharan Africa. She was awarded a Fogarty Global Health Fellowship and a Lupus Foundation Early Career award for her work with pediatric lupus patients in South Africa.
In 2015, she joined the NIAMS under Dr. Mariana Kaplan as a Lawrence Shulman Scholar in Translational Medicine. She currently holds the position of Assistant Clinical Investigator and Head of the Lupus Genomics and Global Health Disparities Unit at NIAMS, NIH. Her current research interests include clinical and translational research in pediatric systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), with a focus on genetic drivers of severe disease and inflammation in varied cohorts around the world.
Dr. Lewandowski has held several leadership positions including serving as co-chair Childhood Arthritis and Rheumatic Diseases Research Alliance (CARRA) Lupus Nephritis workgroup, co-chair of the CARRA Lupus Genetics Workgroup, chair of the CARRA Translation Research and Technology Committee Data Management, and chair CARRA Annual Meeting Planning Committee. She is a member of Early Career Investigator Committee within the American College of Rheumatology; whose aim is to develop the next generation of researchers in the rheumatology field. In addition, she has mentored students and trainees in North America and South Africa in rheumatology research. She is a USA representative on the Paediatric Musculoskeletal Task Force. She has published many articles on lupus in Africa and the challenges to rheumatology clinical care, education and practice in less resourced countries. She has lectured nationally and internationally on the genetics of pediatric lupus in global populations and global rheumatology clinical care and research.