Today – March 8th – is International Women’s Day. We thought we’d take this chance to highlight the work of the women working in MPN research as well as the women who are patients or caregiver to a patient.
We gave our first grant to Ann Mullally in 2012 as part of the MF Challenge initiative. She has developed an illustrious career and has established her own lab at Dana Farber. This year she was selected as one of the grantees for our MPN Interferon Initiative, where she leads a lab of international researchers who are looking into Interferon in the context of DNA damage and epigenetic mutations.
Rebekka K. Schneider is a German researcher who was funded for the first time by the Foundation through our MPN Challenge grant program, which seeks to award innovative ideas relevant to MPNs. Dr. Schneider and her team are using CRISPR cas9 to determine whether a specific molecule contributes to the growth of bone marrow fibrosis and loss of normal blood production. If confirmed, this presents a possible therapeutic target for drug development.
Women are also patients or caregivers to MPN patients. Some of them, like Ashley, pictured below with her family, have a story to share about their experience with MPN. Ashely helped her husband Ray seek a second and even third opinon to confirm their suspicions about the transformation of his ET. Ashley, Ray and I are looking forward to meeting in person this year at the MPN Advocacy and Education meeting in Tennessee on April 24th. Maybe I’ll see you there, too.
So, thank you to the women who are working to find cures for MPNs, who are caregivers to those with PV, ET or MF and those who are patients, themselves, and wake up every day to do their best in the face of their disease. We have reason to hope that better treatments are coming soon and so should you.
Executive Director, MPN Research Foundation