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Joel L. Ramirez, MD

1. How did you get interested in your research topic?

I have always found aortic aneurysms to be fascinating and often dramatic. Their slow development over time allows for a clear window for treatment, yet operative management ca be very challenging and high-risk. Since my first days in the operating room with vascular surgery, I have wondered why we haven’t been able to develop a therapeutic to stop or reverse aortic aneurysm development. This ultimately has led me to want to better understand the role that the immune system plays in aneurysm development with the goal of identifying a target for a novel therapeutic.

2. How did you select your research mentorship team?

My research interests aligned well with the mission of Dr. Adam Oskowitz’s basic science laboratory. It was natural to work with him and our interests organically aligned. We then identified Dr. Alexis Combes as a collaborator given his laboratory’s extensive experience with single cell RNA sequencing and access to cutting edge spatial transcriptomics platforms.

3. How will you incorporate your research into your future career goals?

I hope to bridge the gap between patients, clinical data, and the laboratory. As a surgeon, I hope to be uniquely positioned to build trust with my patients, recruit them to participate in translational research studies, and increase our ability to build biobanks of blood and tissue samples to be studied.