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SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University

Department of Medicine

Profile

photo of Ellen Ginzler

Ellen M. Ginzler, MD, MPH

Distinguished Teaching Professor of Medicine and Chief of Rheumatology

Tel: (718) 270-1662 • Fax: (718) 270-1562

e-mail: ellen.ginzler@downstate.edu

Dr. Ellen Ginzler earned her medical degree in 1969 from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland, Ohio. She completed her internship and residency at Brooklyn’s King’s County Hospital and New York City’s Bellevue Hospital, and her fellowship training in rheumatology at SUNY Downstate Medical Center. She joined the Department of Medicine faculty in 1974. 

A Milbank Memorial Fund Fellowship in 1981 led to a Master’s in Public Health in 1983 from the Yale University School of Epidemiology and Public Health in New Haven, Connecticut.

Dr. Ginzler is a leader in medical education and one of Downstate’s finest teachers. Her history of service to the institution spans more than 40 years. Under her guidance as chief of rheumatology since 1991, the division has gained international acclaim for its excellent training and research. In 2008 she was named Distinguished Teaching Professor of Medicine at SUNY.

As director co-director of the MS2 and now MS1 musculoskeletal block, Dr. Ginzler brought excitement and innovation to this course. One example is the interactive Patient Demonstration Session she developed to introduce students to various complex rheumatologic disorders. She invites patients to visit the classroom so that students can effectively understand complicated rheumatic diseases. Consistently rated the best teaching session of the year by second-year and now first-year medical students, it is equally popular among the patients, many of whom return year after year.  Dr. Ginzler also originated the Mentoring Program of the American College of Rheumatology, which continues to be a significant educational resource for trainees in this field.

In addition to her contributions to teaching and administration, Dr. Ginzler has compiled a stellar record of clinical research and scholarship. She is internationally known as an expert on systemic lupus erythematosus and lupus nephritis. This autoimmune disorder that affects more than a million people nationally, causes painful inflammation and damage to many parts of the body. She was named the 2015 American College of Rheumatology Distinguished Clinical Investigator, and in 2019, Dr., Ginzler was named the Department of Medicine’s Vice Chair for Research.

Dr. Ginzler has received more than $3M in extramural funding for lupus research. As principal investigator of an FDA Orphan Products Program Grant to assess the efficacy and tolerability of two drug treatments for lupus nephritis leading the largest multicenter, investigator-initiated trial ever carried out for lupus. The results, published as the lead article in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2005, have changed the paradigm for treating lupus nephritis.

Among her many professional associations, Dr. Ginzler is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians and a Master of the American College of Rheumatology. 

She was a long-time member of the Board of Governors of the New York Chapter of the Arthritis Foundation.  She has been an active participant in the Systemic Lupus International Collaborating Clinics (SLICC) and was director of Downstate’s clinical research site as a member of the Lupus Clinical Trials Consortium (LCTC), both organizations devoted to studying outcome in SLE and promoting the advancement of new therapies for following and managing this disease. 

Dr. Ginzler’s clinical and academic focus area is lupus and lupus nephritis, precisely its clinical course, treatment, and epidemiology – with particular regard to outcomes and sociodemographic influences. 

She has been recognized with several awards for her contributions to SLE and rheumatology in general, including the Kirkland Scholar Award, The NYU Ira Goldstein Memorial Lectureship, the University of Missouri Michael Einbender Lectureship, the Evelyn Hess Award of the Lupus Foundation of America, and the Lifetime Achievement Award of the New York Chapter of the Arthritis Foundation.

Education:
  • Bryn Mawr College, Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, AB 1965, Magna Cum Laude with Honors
  • Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Cleveland, Ohio, MD 1969
  • Yale University School of Epidemiology and Public Health, New Haven, Connecticut, MPH 1983
Post-graduate Training:
  • Straight Medical Internship, Kings County Hospital, Brooklyn, NY, 7/69-6/70
  • Resident in Medicine, Kings County Hospital, 7/70-6/71
  • Senior Resident in Medicine, Bellevue Hospital, New York, NY, 7/71-6/72
  • Fellow in Rheumatology, SUNY Downstate Medical Center, 7/72-6/74
Career / Research Interests:
  • Epidemiology of systemic lupus erythematosus, particularly with regard to outcome measures and sociodemographic influences
  • Accelerated atherosclerosis in rheumatic disease
  • Clinical course and treatment of systemic lupus erythematosus, including randomized clinical trials
  • Ginzler EM, Nicastri AD, Chen C-K, et al: Progression of mesangial and focal to diffuse lupus nephritis. New Engl J Med 291:693-696, 1974
  • Gladman D, Ginzler E, Goldsmith C, Fortin P, Liang M, Urowitz M, Bacon P, Bombardieri S, Hanly J, Hay E, Isenberg D, Jones J, Nived O, Petri M, Richter M, Sanchez-Guerrero J, Snaith M, Sturfelt G, Symmons D: The development and initial validation of the SLICC/ACR damage index for SLE. Arthritis Rheum 39:363-369, 1996.
  • Ginzler EM, Dooley MA, Aranow C, Kim MY, Buyon J, Merrill JT, et al: Mycophenolate mofetil or intravenous cyclophosphamide for lupus nephritis. New Engl J Med 353: 2219-2228, 2005.
  • Ginzler EM, Dvorkina 0: Infections in systemic lupus erythematosus. In Dubois' Lupus Erythematosus, 7th edition, ed. DJ Wallace, BH Hahn. Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins, Philadelphia, PA, 2007.
  • Furie R, Stohl W, Ginzler EM, et al. Biologic activity and safety of belimumab, a neutralizing anti-B-lymphocyte stimulator (BLyS) monoclonal antibody: phase I trial in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus. Arthritis Research & Therapy 2008; 10:R109
  • Appel GB, Contreras G, Dooley MA, Ginzler EM, et al. Mycophenolate mofetil versus cyclophosphamide for induction treatment of lupus nephritis. A randomized trial. J Am Soc Nephrol. 2009:20:1103-1112
  • Ginzler E, Wofsy D, Isenberg D, et al. Nonrenal activity following mycophenolate mofetil or intravenous cyclophosphamide as induction treatment for lupus nephritis. Arthritis Rheum 2010; 62:211-221
  • Furie RA, Petri AM, Wallace DJ, Ginzler EM, et al. Novel evidence-based systemic lupus erythematosus responder index. Arthritis Care & Res 2009; 61:1143-1151
  • Isenberg D, Appel GB, Contreras G, Dooley MA, Ginzler EM et al. Influence of race/ethnicity on response to lupus nephritis treatment: the ALMS study. Rheumatology 2010; 49:128-140
  • Ginzler E, Wofsy D, Isenberg D, et al. Nonrenal activity following mycophenolate mofetil or intravenous cyclophosphamide as induction treatment for lupus nephritis. Arthritis Rheum 2010; 62:211-221
  • Radhakrishnan J, Moutzouris D-A, Ginzler EM, et al. Mycophenolate mofetil and intravenous cyclophosphamide are similar as induction therapy for class V lupus nephritis. Kidney Int 2010; 77:152-160
  • Dooley AM, Jayne D, Ginzler EM, et al. Mycophenolate versus azathioprine as maintenance therapy for lupus nephritis. New Engl J Med 2011; 365:1886-1895
  • Ginzler EM, Wax S, Rajeswaran A, et al. Atacicept in combination with MMF and corticosteroids in lupus nephritis: results of a prematurely terminated trial. Arthritis Res & Ther 2012; 14:R33.
  • Ginzler EM, Wallace DJ, Merrill JT, et al. Disease control and safety of belimumab plus standard therapy over 7 years in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus. J Rheumatol 2014; 41:300-309.

Volumes Edited:
  • Rheumatic Disease Clinics of North America. Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, Volume 36, February 2010. Ginzler EM, ed.
  • Rheumatic Disease Clinics of North America. Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, Volume 40, August 2014, Ginzler EM and Dooley MA, eds.