Greater Chicago Chapter Grant
Northwestern University

How will your research ultimately be used to change the lives of people with arthritis? 

My research will change the lives of people with scleroderma in that no therapies exist to prevent or reverse skin fibrosis that is so disabling to patients.  If imatinib can help patients with skin fibrosis, patients will benefit.

Do you have a personal connection with arthritis that makes the disease more than a statistic to you? 
Several patients thoughout my training have suffered from scleroderma and I witnessed first-hand how horrible that disease can be.  It is a crime there are no good therapies to help patients.

What role do you feel the Arthritis Foundation plays in the progress of arthritis research? 
The AF helps support up-and-coming researchers.  It is very competitive to receive a large NIH grant: it also takes time to learn how to write a fundable grant.    The AF provides support to young investigators with the desire to make meaningful contributions to research by supporting research that will enable investigators to obtain larger NIH grants in the future.
 
What mysteries surrounding arthritis interest you most? 
Why do fibroblasts continue to produce collagen in the skin and internal organs of patients with scleroderma.

When you’re not in the lab or clinic, where can you most often be found?
 
At home, with my husband and three beautiful daughters who all love to laugh.

What hobby do you most enjoy? 
Running.

What non-medical book have you enjoyed lately? 
Kite Runner.

What is your favorite style of music and band or musician?
Pearl Jam

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

I have wanted to be a doctor since the age of three when I watched Emergency One everyday. But, if I were not a researcher,  I think I would have become an adviser for health care policy locally, nationally or internationally.  

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