Arthritis Investigator Award (Both)
Yale University School of Medicine (Both)

Researchers: Dr. Hester Doyle and Dr. Tim Quan

“The Future Face of Arthritis Research!”

Dr. Doyle and Dr. Quan with their two sons, Max and Aedan. The oldest was featured as the youngest Arthritis Foundation member last year. Quan says this about their younger son, “If his mother did research and his father did research and his brother was the youngest member of the Arthritis Foundation, what choice does he have?"

How do you think your research will impact your local community?
HD: I’m not sure my research directly impacts my community, but I know that my presence in activities such as the Arthritis Walk let people in the community know that I am doing research and makes Yale a presence in the community, and that we’re out there trying to make a difference.

How would you ultimately like to see your research applied?
HD: I would ultimately like to think that my research would be able to pinpoint one of the reasons why the immune system decides to attack itself, and perhaps this would better help others to diagnose the potential for disease, or better help clinicians in treating the disease.

TQ: How viral immunity relates to autoimmune disease and inflammation.

What are your impressions of the Arthritis Foundation?
HD: The Arthritis Foundation is a fantastic foundation, and I say this especially from the point of view of as a researcher.  The Arthritis Foundation is very supportive of new investigators and in fostering their careers through grant support.  It is extremely important to help along the next generation of researchers if we hope to be able to find cures and develop new treatments for arthritis and for the other diseases in the field of rheumatology.  As far as their impact outside of the research community, they make their presence known.  I have had numerous individuals mention to me they read the publications put out by the Arthritis Foundation, as well as people mention the Arthritis Walks that take place.

What role do you feel the Arthritis Foundation plays in the progress of arthritis research?
HD: Again, I think one of the most important roles that the Arthritis Foundation plays in arthritis research is the funding of new investigators.  In this day and age, government research funding is harder and harder to come by, especially for new investigators.  It is foundations like the Arthritis Foundation that fill in the gap and keep these new investigators in research.   

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?
HD: My husband’s aunt has rheumatoid arthritis.  He also has a cousin who has lupus (of which the Arthritis Foundation does sponsor research on).   I will say that in talking to people about what I do for a living, a good number of them will say they know either a relative or a friend who has lupus.

Considering all the medical conditions in need of your field of research, what are the mysteries surrounding arthritis that interest you most?
HD: I think the big mystery to me, and it applies to autoimmune diseases in general, is what all has to go wrong in order for a person to develop the disease.  How much is genetics, environment, infection with the wrong pathogen… how much does a person need to have all of these go wrong and is their a particular order to it?  

When you’re not in the lab, where can you most often be found?
HD: At home cooking with my husband and son

Favorite non-medical book you read last?
HD: Strapless by Deborah Davis

Favorite music and artist?
HD: Music, classical; Artist, John Singer Sargent

If you weren’t a medical researcher, what would you be doing now?
HD: I’d be hanging out with my 17-month old son, Max.
TQ: If it wasn't for the support of the Arthritis Foundation, I would have ended up as an emergency room physician or in private practice.

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