RP Research Scientist Spotlight: Keith A. Sikora, MD

Did you know that children can be diagnosed with RP?  Unfortunately, this painful condition can be present in young people as well as adults, and establishing a diagnosis can be especially difficult for young patients.

Working with the National Institutes of Health as a pediatric rheumatologist, Dr. Keith Sikora gets to see every pediatric patient with RP who walks through the NIH clinic doors. He’s truly on the front lines when it comes to relapsing polychondritis.

In addition to being a physician, Dr. Sikora spends a lot of time in the lab researching genetic causes. He says that finding a gene (or genes) leading to this disease is crucial. Children provide a good hint toward possible genetic causes. It provides an easier opportunity to study not only the patients, but also their family members. Dr. Sikora says that it’s vital to get more participation with children if we want to find out more about this incredibly rare illness.

We also spoke with Dr. Peter Grayson and Marcela Ferrada, also key parts of the research teams at the NIH. They highlighted the need for earlier diagnosis, better and more effective treatments, a better understanding of the disease, and better tools that physicians can utilize to treat the disease in the future.

Since RP is so rare, everyone needs to play a role to get this disease figured out. Whether you’re a patient, a family member, or anyone else, YOU can help by increasing awareness.

When we work together to share what we know about RP, we’ll be able to develop a solution much more quickly than any one person could do on their own.

Dr. Keith Sikora is featured in the “What is Relapsing Polychondritis?” video below:

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