AF Chapter Grant
Hackensack University Medical Center, NJ

How will your research ultimately be used to change the lives of people with arthritis?
I hope that my research will enable better assessment of disease activity in pediatric localized scleroderma patients so that we can improve how we treat these patients and minimize their risk for developing arthritis and other joint-related problems.

Do you have a personal connection with arthritis that makes the disease more than a statistic to you?
My father has gout and my mother has osteoarthritis.  However, I think it is seeing children with arthritis go from being stiff and limited to active and playful, when given the right treatment, that is most motivating to me.

What role do you feel the Arthritis Foundation plays in the progress of arthritis research? 
The AF plays a key role in arthritis research.  The AF has supported arthritis research from the trainee level to established researchers, and has raised awareness of arthritis and its impact, which has aided funding and recruitment for arthritis research studies.  The AF has also supported the Childhood Arthritis and Rheumatology Research Alliance (CARRA), which is vital for furthering research into pediatric arthritis and related conditions.  

What mysteries surrounding arthritis interest you most? 
I, like many others, would like to know why people get arthritis, and what factors determine their long-term outcome.  I tell my patients it is a combination of genetics and environment, but our understanding of this process is still very limited.

When you’re not in the lab or clinic, where can you most often be found?
I am usually either doing things for/with my kids, working at my computer, or working in the yard.

What hobby do you most enjoy?
I enjoy gardening.  I find it very satisfying to see plants flourish if I put them in the right place!

What non-medical book have you enjoyed lately?
I enjoyed, “Blink” by Malcolm Gladwell.

What is your favorite style of music and band or musician?
I like classical and classic rock such as Fleetwood Mac.

If you weren’t a medical researcher, what would you be doing now?
I think I would still be in the sciences, but perhaps working on a more basic research problem.

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