Interview with Mark Gorelik, MD
What is the goal of your research?
Understanding the immunology behind cardiac inflammation in Kawasaki Disease and vasculitis, and also understanding the immunologic function of the protein Follistatin Like 1 Protein.
What made you decide to go into medical research?
I have always been fascinated with molecular biology and immunology. The idea of being able to "see" a patient's disease from the molecule up to the patient (ie, being able to understand why a particular process is happening from the most basic level) is the way I try to practice medicine. The gap is that in many patients, we don't understand these processes, and thus we also lack therapies. So, in short, being able to understand and help my patients more by really grasping the molecular and immunologic events that occur during disease is why I do medical research. Also... its a very addictive thing to perform an experiment and wait for a result.
What are your future research and career goals?
I hope to understand how immunology applies to cardiac inflammation in Kawasaki disease, and also am very interested in early life immune 'suppression/plasticity' and how it shapes immune responses and/or could be re-activated or applied in later life. My career goals are to continue with research as long as I am able and to continue in academic medicine.
How has / will the Faculty Development Award helped you in your career?
This award has been simply transformative, and will allow me to supplement my other funding such that I can have a full laboratory and pursue the next steps in the research questions I have.
Who are your mentors?
Dr. Jordan Orange, Dr. Joshua Milner, Dr. Robert Wood, Dr. Moshe Arditi.