Virginia Pascual

Investigator Director, Center for Inflammation and Autoimmune Diseases

Baylor Institute for Immunology Research, USA

Dr. Pascual is an Investigator and Director of the Centers for Inflammation and Genomics at the Baylor Institute for Immunology Research (BIIR) in Dallas, TX. She is also the Program Director for BIIR’s NIAIDfunded Autoimmunity Center of Excellence and NIAMS-funded Center of Research Translation focused on Pediatric Lupus. Dr. Pascual is a practicing pediatric rheumatologist interested in basic and translational immunology. Her research focuses on pediatric Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) and Systemic-onset Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (sJIA) with the goals of translating laboratory findings into the identification of therapeutic targets and useful biomarkers. Her studies have led to the discovery that type I interferon (IFN) and interleukin 1 (IL-1) are important pathogenic players in SLE and sJIA, respectively. Using genomic approaches, her group is identifying novel pathways and unique signatures to follow patients in the clinic and assess responses to therapy. Dr. Pascual and her colleagues have been at the forefront of clinical trials using IL-1 blockers in sJIA, which have shown remarkable clinical benefits for nearly 70% of patients.