Harvard School of Public Health
How do you think your research will impact your local community?
I believe that my work will generate new ideas about how arthritis develops and evolves. Once shared with others in the community, it is my hope that it will inspire discussion, lead to collaboration, and generate additional avenues of productive research.
How would you ultimately like to see your research applied?
At the end of the day, I think all researchers, including myself, would like to see their work improve the lives of others. That idea alone is a potent source of inspiration.
What are your impressions of the Arthritis Foundation?
One of things that impressed me about the Arthritis Foundation is how easy it is to acquire information. For example, the website goes to extensive lengths to make complex scientific information easy for anyone to understand. It ensures that patients understand their illness and learn how researchers are developing ways to better understand and treat the disease. In the same way, it makes it possible for researchers to understand the personal issues and concerns individuals with arthritis have to think about and deal with. In that regard, I have been extremely impressed with the Arthritis Foundation.
What role do you feel the Arthritis Foundation plays in the progress of arthritis research?
Successful research requires that ideas be freely exchanged among researchers, patients, and clinicians. In my opinion, the Arthritis Foundation makes it possible for everyone to share and access information in a way that supports an open dialogue and translates into successful 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?
Yes . With respect to arthritis, I have had several family members who have had arthritis and whose quality of life has been reduced because of it. In that respect, I have seen what the disease can do to a family. In addition, I know what it is like to have an autoimmune disease and what it takes to integrate an autoimmune disease with the rest of daily life. As a result, the statistics have become tangible to me in many ways.
Considering all the medical conditions in need of your field of research, what are the mysteries surrounding arthritis that interest you most?
My particular focus is molecular immunology. While many molecules contribute to Arthritis, in the end, proteins called transcription factors regulate the genes that decide between health and disease. In T cells, whose role in Arthritis is well established, the loss or gain of one transcription factor is critical. How T cell transcription factors go awry and lead to aberrant patterns of gene expression is of particular interest to me.
When you’re not in the lab, where can you most often be found?
When I am not in the lab, I like to spend time outdoors usually at Boston Commons in downtown Boston or at the Connecticut coast with family.
Favorite non-medical book you read last?
I am in the middle of Harry Potter.
Favorite music and artist?
My favorite artist is “Sublime” and in general, I prefer rock music.
If you weren’t a medical researcher, what would you be doing now?
If I weren’t a medical researcher, I would probably be a chef. I enjoy cooking especially with friends and family.