Professor Eric F. Morand, MBBS (Hons), FRACP, PHD
Principal Investigator at Monash Health, Clayton, Victoria, AUSTRALIA
Chair of the APLC Executive Steering Committee
Professor Eric Morand is Head of the School of Clinical Sciences (SCS) Monash University, and Head of Rheumatology at Monash Health, in Melbourne Australia.
He trained in rheumatology in Australia and at the Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases, UK, before completing his PhD at Monash University where he has lead rheumatology research since. He led SCS through a 6-fold increase in size from 2011 (now $160M/y with >$65M research revenue) and similarly has grown Monash Rheumatology to be the largest unit in Australia with a global reputation for excellence. He is a member and former board member of the Australian Rheumatology Association, and an International Fellow of the American College of Rheumatology.
Morand’s laboratory research program focusses on the effects of glucocorticoid-induced proteins in the immune system, with the overarching goal of finding pathways to deliver glucocorticoid-mimicking therapeutic effects without adverse effects. This lead to the description of the expression and function of four novel proteins in rheumatic disease. Recent work on glucocorticoid-induced proteins lead to the William E Paul Distinguished Innovator Award of the Lupus Research Alliance, New York, in 2015.
His clinical research focusses on systemic lupus erythematosus, with a strong emphasis on improving measurement and understanding the drivers of adverse outcomes. He founded the Lupus Clinic at Monash Health, now Australia’s largest lupus cohort and biobank, which lead to the formation of the Australian Lupus Registry and Biobank, a national multicenter registry. He founded and chairs the Asia Pacific Lupus Collaboration, now among the largest longitudinal cohorts of SLE patients ever assembled, with over 4,000 patients under longitudinal followup. This group developed the Lupus Low Disease Activity State (LLDAS) measure for treat-to-target studies in SLE, and prospectively validated it in a multinational cohort study; LLDAS is now routinely used as a clinical trial endpoint. He now leads a multinational consortium of academia and industry to reinvent primary outcome measures for SLE trials.
Morand is an advisor on lupus measurement and trials to multiple pharma and biotech companies. He was PI of the positive TULIP-2 phase 3 trial of the IFN receptor antibody anifrolumab, published in the New England Journal of Medicine and leading to regulatory approval of anifrolumab by the FDA, EMA, and other agencies worldwide. He is currently global PI or steering committee member of multiple Phase 2 and 3 trials in SLE. He chaired the 2017 International Congress on SLE, and is on the editorial advisory boards of Nature Reviews Rheumatology, The Lancet Rheumatology, and Lupus Science and Medicine. He has been co-founder of two prior biotech startups, and currently he is a co-founder of two further major commercialization efforts, one having closed a $180M licensing and collaboration deal with a major US pharma, the other have Term Sheet for ~10M venture investment.
Morand’s outputs include over 300 publications (including 8 Clarivate Highly Cited works), which have been cited >16,000 times (h-index 72). The N Engl J Med report of TULIP-2 is in the top 5% of citations of all papers in that journal and Morand is listed by expertscape.com in the top 0.05% of lupus researchers worldwide. His awards include the William E Paul Distinguished Innovator Award and Global Team Science Award of the Lupus Research Alliance, New York, the Evelyn V Hess Award of the Lupus Foundation of America, the Victoria Prize for Science and Innovation, and the Parr Prize of the Australian Rheumatology Association. In 2021 he was inducted into the Honour Roll of Monash University and in 2022 into the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences.
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