Featured Researcher: Suzana John

Suzana John

What is your professional background? 
I graduated from Pondicherry Institute of Medical Sciences in India and moved to the United States.  All through medical school, I knew I wanted to work in an Internal Medicine residency. I completed my residency at Rochester General Hospital in New York.  During residency, I was introduced to the field of Rheumatology through some very intriguing and complex patient cases.  The thrill of reading and understanding autoimmune diseases made me want to pursue my career in Rheumatology.

In what division do you work, and who is your mentor? 
I am a second-year fellow in the Division of Rheumatology, and my mentor is Dr. Sam Lim.  He has helped me think about the ‘right questions’ to ask while developing a research project and taught me how to critically analyze data, come up with constructive ideas that can have an impact on disease outcomes and sometimes even the way medicine is practiced.

Briefly describe your research. Why is it important? 
During residency, my project was to improve the rate of osteoporosis screening in our underserved clinic population through a provider and patient educational intervention.  This intervention improved the rate of osteoporosis screening from 14% of all eligible patients to 58%.  This led to diagnosing patients with osteoporosis and managing them appropriately, thus preventing fragility fractures, morbidity, and mortality.  Currently, my research, under the guidance of Dr. Lim, is in the secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease in a large black cohort of patients with Systemic Lupus Erythematous in Atlanta.  The majority of these SLE patients with known cardiovascular disease are still smokers, not adherent to aspirin, and inadequately meet other preventive measures, putting them at an increased risk for mortality.  I am interested in continuing my study of disease outcomes and the reasons behind it in this underserved population group.

What do you like most about Emory? 
Our Rheumatology department and faculty have been outstanding in supporting our various interests and goals, and I consider myself very fortunate to be a part of this team at Emory.

What is your favorite movie or TV show? 
My current favorite TV show is The Voice.  Music is a very important part of my life, having been trained in Indian vocals for 15 years. ‘The Voice’ inspires me to pursue singing.

What do you like to do in your spare time?
I enjoy making music records, cooking, traveling, and spending time with my husband and our 5-year-old son.

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About the Author

Emory Department of Medicine
Emory Department of Medicine

The Emory University Department of Medicine, within the Emory University School of Medicine, is steeped in a rich tradition of excellence. Through the work of its nine divisions and numerous centers and institutes, the department has pioneered discoveries in medicine, education, scientific and clinical investigation, and clinical care. Emory University School of Medicine’s medical school, residency, transitional-year, and fellowship programs offer students the latest knowledge in treatment practices, scientific theories, research, and patient care.

The Emory University Department of Medicine is a component of the Robert W. Woodruff Health Sciences Center of Emory University, which includes the Emory schools of Medicine, Nursing, and Public Health; Yerkes National Primate Research Center; Winship Cancer Institute; and Emory Healthcare.

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