While Scleroderma is considered a rare disease, affecting about 300,000 Americans, it is a serious, life threatening condition with no cure and few therapeutic options. According to the Scleroderma Foundation, about one third of people in the U.S. with the disease have the systemic form of scleroderma (SSc). Those with the disease are in search of news and information about the research and drug development currently underway for SSc. Unfortunately, there is very little information of the web today about the work being done to treat and cure Scleroderma.
Scleroderma News is committed to publishing the latest news and information about Scleroderma in a format that those with the disease as well as their families can understand. Our staff of writers include professional journalists and researchers alike who source and publish news articles daily.
Meet the Scleroderma News Editorial Staff:
Chris Comish — Publisher: Publisher Chris Comish is actively engaged on a daily basis in supporting the editorial staff and works to source fresh, informative news stories that can make a difference in the lives of those in search of reliable news and content on the web.
Grace Frank — Editor-in-Chief: Grace Frank worked as a copy editor, city editor, reporter and news designer for leading American newspapers, including The New York Times and The International Herald Tribune, for many years. She has won numerous journalism awards, and was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for an investigative series into eye surgeries wrongly conducted outside a clinical trial.
Patrícia Silva, PhD — Managing Editor: Patrícia holds her PhD in Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases from the Leiden University Medical Center in Leiden, The Netherlands. She has studied Applied Biology at Universidade do Minho and was a postdoctoral research fellow at Instituto de Medicina Molecular in Lisbon, Portugal. Her work has been focused on molecular genetic traits of infectious agents such as viruses and parasites
Nicola Whitehill — Volunteer Patient Expert & Blogger: Nicola was diagnosed with diffuse systemic sclerosis (scleroderma) and Rayanud’s in 1997, and given a prognosis of 15 months left to live. She has continued to defy the odds and served as a barrister in the UK, despite her diagnosis. Her story and advocacy efforts for Scleroderma were featured in the Daily Mail in an article entitled ‘The Real Life Tin Man‘ and has devoted all of her spare energy to highlighting the plight of the scleroderma patient. In 2013, she became a patient advocate on the NHS England Clinical Reference Group for Specialised Rheumatology, and has been a member of the clinical team who compiled the NHS England treatment guidelines for digital ulcers. In 2013, she also became a patient expert with the European Medicines Agency as well as Eurordis. In 2015, she served as a UK patient advocate for the FESCA World Scleroderma Day event held at the European Parliament.
Isaura Santos — Social Media Director: Isaura Santos graduated with a BS in Cell and Molecular Biology from Universidade Nova de Lisboa and a MA in Communication, Culture and Information Technologies from University Institute of Lisbon (ISCTE-IUL). Her professional interests include science communication, public awareness of science and communication of science through entertainment.
Carol Jertson — Contributing Editor: Carol Jertson, a New Jersey native who lives in South Florida, is an award-winning journalist who has worked as a reporter, copy editor, and assistant city editor for small and big-city daily newspapers, including the Miami Herald and the Atlantic City Press, where she wrote stories about the mob when organized crime owned the unions that ran the casinos. At the Miami Herald, her staff of reporters covered local beats and the intricacies of state government. Most recently, she worked for Newsmax, an online site that reported political, national and global news.
Eileen Soler — Contributing Editor: Eileen Soler is a 22-year veteran newspaper reporter, photographer and editor whose prolific body of work has included a gamut of medical coverage from hospital-based humor therapy to cutting edge cancer treatments. The longtime South Florida resident has contributed significantly to the local news and health sections of the Miami Herald and to websites, blogs and newsletters produced by regional medical institutions. Most recently, she helped lead The Seminole Tribune newspaper of the Seminole Tribe of Florida to national recognition as the most award winning publication of its kind.
Charles Moore — Technology Editor: Charles Moore has a long-proven track record in both print and digital journalism, touching on a wide range of subjects, from biotech and healthcare to politics and technology. He contributes substantial feature articles research and development for the news site, particularly pertaining to technology.
Ana de Barros, PhD — Senior Research Columnist: Ana is a postdoctoral researcher at Instituto de Medicina Molecular in Lisbon, Portugal. She graduated with a BS in Genetics from the University of Newcastle and received her Masters in Biomolecular Archaeology from the University of Manchester, England. She later returned to Portugal where she finished her PhD in immunotherapy at the University of Lisbon. Her postdoctoral work is focused on research in cancer and the emerging field of immunotherapy.
Maureen Newman — Senior Research Columnist: Maureen Newman currently works as a PhD student studying biomedical engineering at University of Rochester, working towards a career of research in biomaterials for drug delivery and regenerative medicine. She is an integral part of Dr. Danielle Benoit’s laboratory, where she is investigating bone-homing therapeutics for osteoporosis treatment.
Patrícia Inacio, PhD — Senior Research Columnist: Patricia holds her Ph.D. in Cell Biology from University Nova de Lisboa, and has served as an author on several research projects and fellowships, as well as major grant applications for European Agencies. She also served as a PhD student research assistant in the Laboratory of Doctor David A. Fidock, Department of Microbiology & Immunology, Columbia University, New York.
Ana Pamplona, PhD — Senior Research Columnist: Ana holds her PhD in Biochemistry from the Faculty of Science and Technology from Lisbon (UNL). She has worked in the T-cell differentiation and Tumor targeting Lab at Instituto de Medicina Molecular, headed by Prof. Bruno Silva-Santos, and has served as a scientific reviewer for the peer-reviewed journal Infection & Immunity.
Daniela Semedo, PhD — Senior Research Columnist: Daniela holds a PhD in Clinical Psychology from The University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom, a MSc in Health Psychology and a BSc in Clinical Psychology. Her work has been focused on vulnerability to psychopathology and early identification and intervention in psychosis.
Teresa Pais, PhD — Senior Research Columnist: Teresa F. Pais holds her PhD in Biomedical Sciences from University of Porto. She has worked in innate immune responses in the context of both infection and neurodegeneration. Currently, she is a researcher at Instituto de Medicina Molecular where she investigates inflammatory processes in the brain.
Kara Elam — Senior Research Columnist: Kara Elam is currently working on her Doctorate in Health Policy. She holds Master Degrees in both epidemiology and microbiology. Her research interests include emerging viral diseases, the intersection of human rights and intellectual property rights, and ending violence against women.
Malika Ammam, PhD — Senior Research Columnist: Malika Ammam received her MS degree from the University of Pierre et Marie CURIE in July 2002 and her PhD from the University of Paris Sud XI, France in September 2005. From 2006 to 2007, she worked as a research fellow at the University of Kansas in collaboration with Pinnacle Technology Inc. (USA). From 2007 to 2010, she was a research associate at KU Leuven, Belgium. From 2010 to 2012, she worked at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology in collaboration with Alcohol Countermeasure Systems Corporation, Canada. She has also held the prestigious Rosalind Franklin fellowship.
Margarida Azevedo — Senior Research Columnist: Margarida graduated with a BS in Health Sciences from the University of Lisbon and a MSc in Biotechnology from Instituto Superior Técnico (IST-UL). She worked as a molecular biologist research associate at a Cambridge UK-based biotech company that discovers and develops therapeutic, fully human monoclonal antibodies.
Ozge Ozkaya, PhD — Senior Research Columnist: Özge has a MSc. in Molecular Genetics from the University of Leicester and a PhD in Developmental Biology from Queen Mary University of London. She worked as a Post-doctoral Research Associate at the University of Leicester for six years in the field of Behavioural Neurology before moving into science communication. She worked as the Research Communication Officer at a London based charity for almost two years.
Katie McCallum — Senior Research Columnist: Katie McCallum is a PhD candidate at University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston in the Microbiology and Molecular Genetics program. While at the bench, her research is primarily focused on the basic biology governing host-microbial interactions. Katie’s research interests extend far beyond the scope of medical microbiology. Her exposure to the enormity of collaborative effort and innovative research that exists in the Texas Medical Center has fostered her interest in science communication and science outreach.
Carolina Henriques – Daily Columnist: Carolina holds a BSc in Anthropology and a MSc in Urban Studies., and brings her interdisciplinary skills to her writing on a range of different topics in science, research and advocacy news.
Andreia Peixoto — Social Media Manager: Andreia has a degree in New Communication Technologies and experience in social media, design and tech. She is eager to find new ways to communicate and explore her curiosity about science and technology.
Marta Ribeiro — Social Media Manager: Marta graduated from Universidade Fernando Pessoa in Porto with a degree in Communication Sciences and a Masters degree in New Communication Technologies. She has experience in social media, worked with several media channels, and has also worked as a freelance photographer and a graphic artist for almost 10 years.
Wendy Henderson — Social Media Manager: Wendy is a proven blogger and social media manager who has helped to build online communities for businesses and organizations. She currently heads the website’s social outreach online through social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
DISCLAIMER: Scleroderma News is a science and health publishing website that occasionally writes about clinical trials taking place in the Scleroderma research community. The information provided on this site is designed to help educate patients on clinical trials that may be of interest to them, based on the topic of the story, and to help patients contact the centers conducting the research. Scleroderma News is neither promoting research nor involved in conducting any clinical trials. Some study summaries have been edited for clarity purposes to make them easier to understand.
Note: Scleroderma News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.