Ashira Blazer, MD
Ashira Blazer, MD, is an academic rheumatologist at NYU Langone Health. She cares for patients with a variety of arthritic and autoimmune disorders including rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, osteoarthritis, and lupus, among others. Her research focuses on lupus, a disease in which the immune system attacks a patient’s own cells anywhere in the body, including the kidneys, heart, and lungs. She is particularly interested in the genetic and biological reasons why lupus is more severe in people of African ancestry. Those of West African ancestry commonly carry a mutation in the Apolipoprotein L1 (APOL1)gene. While most people with this mutation live healthy lives, some develop end-stage kidney or heart disease. In fact, APOL1 is emerging as one of the most notable genetic risk factors for organ damage in African populations. Active lupus may interact with these gene mutations, causing heightened risk of morbidity and mortality. By looking at the interplay between chronic inflammation and APOL1, and how they together lead to worsened cardiovascular disease and renal disease in lupus patients, Dr. Blazer aims to provide personalized treatment options to those at highest risk of organ damage.