Innovative Research Grant
University of California, San Francisco
How do you think your research will impact your local community?
If we succeed in identifying a gene(s) that increases susceptibility to RA, then this information is likely to benefit all RA patients in terms of increased understanding of disease etiology and the development of improved diagnostic and therapeutic tools.
How would you ultimately like to see your research applied?
I would like to see the results of my research applied to the development of improved diagnostic and therapeutic tools for RA based on insight gained about specific genes that influence RA risk or severity.
What are your impressions of the Arthritis Foundation?
My impressions of the AF are very favorable, and this is based on many years of interacting with the AF on the local and national level.
What role do you feel the Arthritis Foundation plays in the progress of arthritis research?
The AF plays a crucial role in raising money to support arthritis related research and in funding pilot studies that may generate exciting preliminary results that can attract funding from the NIH and other sources.
Given the prevalence of arthritis – one in three Americans with the disease – do you have a personal connection that makes the disease more than a statistic to you?
My own family has mostly been spared the effects of severe arthritis. However, over the years as I have created a research group devoted to studying the genetic and environmental causes of RA, lupus and other autoimmune diseases I have had the opportunity to work with many research assistants who are affected by these or other autoimmune diseases.
Considering all the medical conditions in need of your field of research, what are the mysteries surrounding arthritis that interest you most?
I am fascinated by the question of what determines which autoimmune disease an individual gets and how it manifests itself in each individual.
When you’re not in the lab, where can you most often be found?
At home with my husband and 5 year old identical twin daughters.
Favorite non-medical book you read last?
Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt
Favorite music and artist?
Classical music; Dvorak
If you weren’t a medical researcher, what would you be doing now?
Playing the oboe as my main activity and practicing yoga as a hobby.