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Rare Disease Month Q & A with Dr. Laura Michaelis

Please briefly describe your role in the MPN community.

I am a clinician and clinical researcher and have specialized in the care of acute and chronic leukemias for the last decade. I first became interested in myeloproliferative neoplasms during my fellowship studying at the University of Chicago and was thrilled to find so many other experts at the academic centers in Chicago who shared this interest in a relatively rare disease. At the Medical College of Wisconsin, there are now several specialty hematologists who have studied this disease and are quite knowledgeable in the treatment and control of these rare conditions.

In your opinion, what is the significance of Rare Disease Month/Day pertaining to MPNs?

Rare diseases are of particular significance because, without patient and physician advocacy, support in the form of research and clinical interest can sometimes wane. One of the points that I often make to patients is that MPN research has benefited lots of patients who do not have these diseases. In fact, the use of JAK-STAT inhibitors now occurs in patients with certain autoimmune diseases and after stem-cell transplants.

-Dr. Laura Michaelis

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