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Cure JM Foundation 2018 National Family Conference Recap

Lifetime Achievement in Juvenile Myositis Research Award

Ann M. Reed, M.D.

Advancing the field of juvenile myositis takes a brilliant scientific mind, a passion for Juvenile Myositis research, and a devotion to training young researchers. This award celebrates a scientific researcher who has dedicated 15 or more years to JM research, and made significant advances in the field of JM research.

This year’s recipient, Dr. Ann Reed, has devoted her career to JM research. She has helped to identify genes that predispose children to JDM (juvenile dermatomyositis) and to provide a comprehensive understanding of the genetics of the disease. Her work also involves early detection and diagnosis with personalized treatment for JDM, including improved markers of disease activity and prediction of treatment response.

Dr. Reed’s current work includes a grant from Cure JM to look at the metabolomics of paired serum and skeletal muscle in JDM. She is also involved in international multicenter clinical trials which are working to establish outcome measures for JDM disease activity and chronicity and look for new agents to treat the disease in both adults and children. In addition, she is a principal investigator on several research grants funded by the NIH (National Institute of Health) and the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases.  

Among her many accomplishments, Dr. Reed has over 120 peer-reviewed publications in prestigious medical journals.  Dr. Reed has received many honors and awards including election into the Kunkel Society and Arthritis Foundation Career awards, as well as two prestigious RO1 grants from the NIH. She is the past chair of the Juvenile Myositis Group for CARRA (the Childhood Arthritis and Rheumatology Research Alliance) and past Chair of the American Board of Pediatrics sub-board for Rheumatology.  

Since 2014, Dr. Reed has been the Chair of the Department of Pediatrics at Duke University School of Medicine as well as Physician-in-Chief at Duke Children’s Hospital.  Prior to this role, she was the Chair of the Department of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota; and Professor of Pediatrics and Medicine at the Mayo Medical School, and Consultant in the Division of Rheumatology in both departments of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine and Internal Medicine.

Dr. Reed’s expertise goes far beyond research, as she has improved and saved countless lives with her diagnosis and treatment of patients.

One example was when she treated a young man who was an avid athlete, but he became so weak he could hardly swallow. By the time he got to Dr. Reed at the Mayo Clinic, he had seen dozens of physicians who thought his condition was either behavioral or the result of a brain tumor. No one could offer a solution; he thought his life was over.  
As soon as she saw him, she recognized that he was suffering from a muscle condition and started him on treatments.  Six months later, he sent her a photo of him carrying his girlfriend into prom.

“I still get Christmas cards from his family every year”, Dr. Reed said. “To be able to help somebody move through that is so memorable”. 

Dr. Reed has shared her passion and devotion with her patients and their families, as well as the entire Cure JM community.

“One of the things that I love about children is that they just want to be normal and well and healthy,” explains Dr. Reed.

“They want to go play, they want to go to school, they want to sing songs.  While many adults get caught up in being unwell and it drags them down, kids look on the bright side of their situation. They’re not complaining. They’ve got the smile and energy around them. In children, a disease doesn’t define them. I believe that’s the way you should look at life.” 

Dr. Reed is a true inspiration to everyone in the Cure JM community..