Q. What makes you proud to work at City of Hope? Why is working at City of Hope rewarding to you personally?
A. City of Hope is a leader in translating research into medicine. They had the foresight to develop a good manufacturing production facility for the translation of research performed by City of Hope researchers.
Also unique at City of Hope are the volunteers that have supported City of Hope for the last hundred years. They have given their time, their money, and their effort to materialize the goals that have been set forth here at City of Hope. It is an outstanding attitude, and it feeds into the spirit that percolates throughout any situation here and makes you extremely proud to be part of this global focus on patient care, scientific developments, and its translation into medicine.
Q. What advancements would you like to see in the field of diabetes and how are you furthering those goals at City of Hope?
A. The greatest advancement I’d like to see in Type 1 diabetes is elimination of the disease, and this will happen through being able to control cell biology and cell immunology. Cell immunology advancements will alleviate the recognition of the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas as being foreign, which will stop the immune system from attacking them. This work hopefully will reach application in humans over the next couple of years.
The focus on cell biology means that we can now create insulin-producing cells in the lab. The hope is that one day we will be able to take a few cells from any human being and transform them into insulin-producing cells that can be used therapeutically. Through the ongoing efforts at City of Hope, we hope to accomplish these objectives in the next few years.
Q. In addition to innovative science and research, City of Hope is well-known for its compassionate care. What does “compassionate care” mean within the context of what you do?
A. Everything that happens at City of Hope has compassion at its core. Certainly the diabetes program is living evidence of that. If you look at some of the patients that we have helped at City of Hope, we have many examples of how the compassionate care made an extremely high impact on people’s lives and changed their day-to-day activity. They are no longer having car accidents, resolving long-standing seizures, and many are able to hold employment after they could not do so for extended periods of time. All of this is highly driven by compassionate care.