Doctoral Dissertation Award   
Institution: Northwestern University

How will your research ultimately be used to change the lives of people with arthritis?
My research is aimed at understanding some of the mechanical risk factors associated with developing knee osteoarthritis. A better understanding of these risk factors will provide important information to therapists and physicians when developing new therapies to help the millions of people affected by knee OA.

Do you have a personal connection with arthritis that makes the disease more than a statistic to you?
I come from a family with bad knees. Both of my parents and my aunt have arthritis in their knees, so I can see first hand how the disease affects their lives.

What role do you feel the Arthritis Foundation plays in the progress of arthritis research?
The Arthritis Foundation provides significant support to researchers who strive to better understand arthritis-related diseases and who work towards creating new treatment options.

What mysteries surrounding arthritis interest you most?
As a biomedical engineer, I’d like to better understand the mechanisms (biomechanical, neural) that contribute to the onset and progression of the disease. Once we understand how things go wrong, we can work with the body’s mechanisms to prevent or slow the progression of the disease.

When you’re not in the lab or clinic, where can you most often be found?

I’m a member of the Northwestern Triathlon Club, so practicing with my teammates takes up a lot of my free time. Other than that, I’m usually relaxing on the couch, reading a book or watching TV.

What hobby do you most enjoy?
Running

What non-medical book have you enjoyed lately?
The Time Travelers’ Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

What is your favorite style of music and band or musician?
I enjoy all kinds of music. Some of my favorites right now are Coldplay, Gomez, Bruce Springsteen, and Sam Cooke.

If you weren’t a medical researcher, what would you be doing now?

I’d probably be a math teacher.

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