Johns Hopkins Scleroderma Expert to Discuss Recent Advances in Scleroderma Treatments and Research

Sep 13, 2013, 10:36 ET from Scleroderma Research Foundation

The Scleroderma Research Foundation with support from Gilead Sciences, MedImmune and Novartis brings the nation's top experts directly to the patients via a free webinar series

SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 13, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Dr. Laura Hummers, Assistant Professor of Medicine and Co-Director of the Johns Hopkins Scleroderma Center, will host a patient-focused webinar on Tuesday, September 17, 2013 at 10 a.m. PDT. "What's New in the World of Scleroderma" will educate patients, family members and others about the latest treatment advances as well as current and future scleroderma research projects showing the most promise to improve patient quality of life.

An expert in her own right, Dr. Hummers has worked alongside the preeminent scleroderma physician Dr. Fredrick Wigley at the Hopkins center since 2003. She is a clinical research investigator and has concentrated her interest on scleroderma, where the focus of her research is the study of biomarkers to predict disease progression in scleroderma patients.

"Scleroderma is an often misdiagnosed and poorly understood disease by many patients and even frontline physicians," says Scleroderma Research Foundation Executive Director Amy Hewitt. "There is not enough information available to empower patients and, with our access to the leading experts in the field, we are trying to connect caregivers as well as patients to the information needed to better manage their disease and associated challenges."

Register online at

About Scleroderma
The word scleroderma means hard skin, but the disease is much more—often affecting the internal organs with life-threatening consequences. Scleroderma is considered a rare autoimmune disease and has one of the highest mortality rates of the rheumatic diseases. Women comprise 80% of the patient population with typical onset between the ages of 30 and 50. Scleroderma is characterized by widespread vascular abnormalities, immune dysregulation and fibrotic complications affecting multiple organs including the skin and lung. The disease is not contagious or directly hereditary and scientists are still searching for possible causes. There is no known cure and current therapies address various symptoms rather than truly arresting disease progression.

About Scleroderma Research Foundation:
The Scleroderma Research Foundation is America's leading nonprofit investor in scleroderma research. It was founded in San Francisco in 1987 by scleroderma patient Sharon Monsky who lost her battle to the disease in 2002. Monsky's legacy lives on through the organization, chaired by Luke Evnin, Ph.D., a scleroderma patient and managing partner of MPM Capital, one of the world's largest dedicated investors in life sciences.

The Foundation's collaborative approach is guided by a world-class Scientific Advisory Board and is empowering scientists from leading institutions to work together to develop an understanding of how scleroderma begins, how it progresses and what can be done to slow, halt or reverse the disease process.

About The Johns Hopkins Scleroderma Center
The Johns Hopkins Scleroderma Center specializes in the care of patients with scleroderma and related conditions such as Raynaud's phenomenon, localized scleroderma and pulmonary arterial hypertension. The Center's mission is to provide excellent clinical care while seeking to better understand the causes and best treatment approaches for scleroderma. All physicians at the Center are actively involved in clinical or translational research, looking for ways to expedite discoveries in the laboratory and apply them to new and better treatments for scleroderma patients.

For more information, call 1-800-441-CURE or visit Follow the SRF on Facebook and Twitter.

SOURCE Scleroderma Research Foundation