Photo of Sladjana Skopelja-Gardner
Senior Fellow
Fellowship Program: 

Fellow Information


Dr. Skopelja-Gardner was born in Montenegro. Having finished final two years of high school at the United World College of the Adriatic in Italy, she moved to the United States, where she obtained a B.A. in Biochemistry at Dartmouth College. After a year as a research associate in the biotech company Celdara Medical, she joined Dr. William Rigby’s lab at Dartmouth in pursuit of a PhD degree in Immunology. Her published thesis work addressed two distinct translational questions: i) the development of autoimmunity in chronic lung infection in cystic fibrosis and bronchiectasis and ii) the effector functions of monoclonal antibody therapies in B cell malignancies. Since joining the Elkon lab in July 2017, Dr. Skopelja-Gardner has been investigating the pathogenic mechanisms of skin and kidney disease in lupus. One of her studies explores the mechanisms of kidney injury in low complement states, using novel disease models developed in the Elkon lab. In a separate study, Dr. Skopelja-Gardner investigates the immunologic link between skin sensitivity to ultraviolet light and systemic disease manifestations in lupus. As part of this effort, she will be implementing state of the art single cell technology to elucidate the skin response to UV light in healthy individuals and lupus patients.