As a pediatric rheumatologist, I am attracted to the unknown. I appreciate the challenge of a real mystery and enjoy using my general pediatric skills when I approach unsolved cases. I recently participated in the discovery of a new disease, an ACOX1 mutation-associated, neurodegenerative, auto-inflammatory disease [Chung et al. Neuron 2020 May 20;106(4):589-606.e6]. This work is relevant as we probe the edges of our collective medical knowledge.
Thinking deeply is an intuitive skill for me. I’m drawn to bringing children back to being functional again. My clinical research contributes to identifying the medicines that achieve a person's goals of healing and regaining their ability to be active.
As a dedicated listener, I pay great attention to detail. Solving mysteries means diligently collecting the clues. I also have a co-existing capacity to pull away from the morass of detail to see the big picture emerge. I connect dots for a living; however, I’m not shy about knowing my limits and when to ask for help.
I give people the evidence to make their own decisions because I feel this shared-decision model promotes personal investment in the outcome. If pressed, I will provide an opinion, but I always start with the facts.
Early in my career, I received two awards from the Arthritis Foundation, including a national volunteer citation in 1997 and another for founding a patient and family education day in 2004 that continues today. During my fellowship, I received a Physician Scientist Development Award from the American College of Rheumatology.
Additional recognitions include:
- American College of Rheumatology Visiting Professor Award in 2015
- Best Doctors in America from 2007 to present (2020)
- America’s Best Physicians from 2016 to present (2020)
- Castle Connolly Top Doctor from 2015 to present (2020)
- Top Rheumatologist from Ohio Magazine in 2020
- Ohio Top Doctor in 2020
Given the volume of patients that I see, I’m primarily involved in collaborative research. I participate in a substantial number of translational projects, most of which are characterized by determining if a candidate’s medication will successfully treat a specific disease. With other projects, I help identify the immunologic and molecular basis of groups of autoimmune and autoinflammatory diseases.
My participation in pediatric musculoskeletal ultrasound research helps advance the clinical capacity of important technology. I also work independently to identify and improve ways to deliver care, especially to geographic regions with poor or limited accessibility to my subspecialty.
In my free time, I contribute extensively to Cincinnati’s Christ Church Cathedral in various leadership positions, including developing and administering resources for those in great need from many causes. I also helped shape a prevention of gun violence initiative in our community that focuses on empowering capacity within neighborhoods.
I’ve participated in several service-related and medical mission trips throughout Appalachia and Honduras. When I’m not working, my passions are travel, photography, music and cultivating friendships. My adult daughters keep me on my toes, too.
Telehealth; health policy; global health; neuropsychiatric-SLE; periodic fever syndromes; systemic JIA; culturally appropriate care.
Ongoing clinical research trials, as a feature of the Division of Rheumatology's translational research focus; telemedicine (tele-rheumatology).
Associate Professor, UC Department of PediatricsProfessor, University of Kentucky College of Medicine