Arthritis Foundation of MD Chapter Grant
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

How will your research ultimately be used to change the lives of people with arthritis?
Pulmonary fibrosis is the second leading cause of excess death in patients with RA. We hope through this study to identify better methods for detecting and measuring pulmonary fibrosis.  This will allow us to more accurately evaluate new treatments for this disease.

Do you have a personal connection with arthritis that makes the disease more than a statistic to you?
I work closely with many patients with arthritis and pulmonary fibrosis.  I have been touched by their resolve to lead full and active lives.

What role do you feel the Arthritis Foundation plays in the progress of arthritis research?
The Arthritis Foundation provides critical financial support for pilot and innovative studies that might be too preliminary for funding through the NIH.  This is critical in allowing new ideas to be evaluated.

What mysteries surrounding arthritis interest you most?
My interest is principally in the development of lung scarring or fibrosis that occurs in some patients with RA.  I would like to understand why some patients are vulnerable to this deadly complication of RA and whether there are either genetic or blood biomarkers that could help us predict the risk of developing lung disease.

When you’re not in the lab or clinic, where can you most often be found?
Wrangling my three, very energetic children (ages 5,8 and 10).

What hobby do you most enjoy?
We love to camp, hike and bike together.  The kids walked with me last year at the Arthritis Foundation Walk.

What non-medical book have you enjoyed lately?
Randy Pausch’s The Last Lecture

What is your favorite style of music and band or musician?
I enjoy a wide range of music from classical to pop to Cajun.

If you weren’t a medical researcher, what would you be doing now?
I can’t really imagine anything that I would rather be doing.  But if tomorrow we found the cure for pulmonary fibrosis and my services were no longer needed, I would definitely consider opening a flower shop!

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