Support comes in all forms
Lupus is a chronic disease which means it’s something that is life-long with no cure. I am doing well today, but that does not mean that’s true tomorrow. I knew I would be dealing with lupus for the rest of my life. Given that, I quickly realized I would have to rely on, and ask for support, from those around me. For someone who is fiercely independent and rather “Type A,” this is very humbling. Asking for help used to ...Continue Reading →
From bed to bench and from bench to bed
The Lupus Foundation of Minnesota Fellowship was (no exaggeration) the most productive, meaningful, and inspirational experience I could have imagined my summer to be. Not only did I gain research experience and scientific communication skills, but I met peers, mentors, and patients who impacted my perspective on clinical and translational research.
Having the opportunity to interact with patients during my fellowship (with the courtesy of my PI, Dr. Erik Peterson) significantly and positively affected my fellowship experience. I am ...Continue Reading →
Channeling My Passion
I have had a passion for medicine and research since mid-high school. However, I was not sure about whether I would pursue one, the other, both, or the integration of the two as my future career.
At the start of my undergraduate career, I was set on trying to get into the M.D., Ph.D. program to integrate the two fields, as well as apply myself in both settings, as I always loved biology and medicine and had experience with clinical and ...Continue Reading →
My “New Normal”
As I’m thinking of ideas to blog about, it occurred to me to talk about some of the topics I find myself discussing with friends and family. Most people have heard of lupus but many don’t really know how life-altering it is. I sure didn’t.Continue Reading →
When I was diagnosed nearly three years ago, I knew very little about lupus. I knew it’s an autoimmune disease meaning that my body is basically attacking itself. I knew of people who got ...
Introducing 2013 Lupus Ambassador Chris Cronick
My name is Chris Cronick and I’m honored to have been chosen as the 2013 Lupus Ambassador for the Lupus Foundation of Minnesota (LFM). I’m 37 and I was diagnosed with lupus in 2010. Prior to my diagnosis, I was in and out of the hospital for six months. It was a very scary time, not knowing what was wrong. I was tested for everything, but eventually was diagnosed with lupus SLE.
I have found that many times those ...Continue Reading →
Genes are “Interferin’ with lupus family business
It is common knowledge that lupus runs in families. In fact, primary relatives (siblings, parents, children) of a person with the condition have a three- to five-fold increased risk of developing the disease compared with the average person on the street. But until just the last decade, we haven’t known how increased risk of lupus could be inherited.
Figuring out how lupus runs in families has been complicated. Lupus is not like some genetic diseases carrying a high profile in the ...Continue Reading →
A hesitant beginning to a happy commitment
2012 began for me with the Lupus Foundation of Minnesota asking me to be an ambassador for their organization. I was initially hesitant for a couple reasons. One was the lengthy flare I had been dealing with from the recent, and very sad, death of my father – I wasn’t sure if I would be able to follow through. The second reason was my ongoing, on-and-off lupus diagnosis – I wasn’t convinced that I would be a very good ...Continue Reading →
Gaffney is Rewriting the “User’s Manual”
With the completion of the Human Genome Project. Scientists promised the world a sort of “user’s manual” for the human body and commentators predicted the end of disease.Continue Reading →
While those results have not yet arrived, it’s researchers like the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation’s Patrick Gaffney, M.D., who are trying to get the world there.
If DNA is the “Big Book of You,” with billions of pages ...
Collaboration leads to solutions
This week I really got to dig into my individual summer project! It’s a joint project with Dr. Jerry Molitor who is focused on scleroderma. Seeing collaboration between labs is so refreshing because instead of seeing a highly competitive and self-contained atmosphere, my experience has been full of data sharing and collaborative efforts in order to come up with solutions. He even said I could visit his clinic and shadow him, which is an amazing opportunity that I’m excited for.
The ...Continue Reading →
“I now feel like a real scientist …”
Over the past two weeks, I have performed pilot experiments to finalize the design of my final project. One of these pilots compared an infected wild type model with an uninfected one; wild type means that the model has not been genetically modified in any way.
A day after infection, I examined spleen for the presence of certain dendritic cell variants. Dendritic cells are one of many types of white blood cells, and some of their subsets are found in greater ...Continue Reading →