After making a seminal discovery associating the PTPN22 gene with autoimmunity, Dr. Bottini launched his own laboratory at the University of Southern California in 2005. It moved to the La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology four years later, and added new research lines to explore the role of tyrosine phosphatases in rheumatoid fibroblast-like synoviocytes via a collaboration with Dr. Gary Firestein.
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Explore This IssueDecember 2017
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In 2016, he joined UCSD as a tenured professor of medicine, was inducted into the American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI) and received the Lee C. Howley Sr. Prize for Arthritis Scientific Research.
Q: What keeps you so engaged with your specialty?
A: Rheumatology is one of the broadest specialties, both research-wise and in terms of clinical practice. It keeps you humble and offers limitless learning opportunities to the curious practitioner and/or scientist.
Q: What is the most fulfilling part of your job?
A: In the research lab, when a project progresses to the point at which we can discuss translation with collaborators or potential industry partners. In the clinic, pushing active rheumatoid arthritis all the way to remission.
Q: What is the elevator speech you would give to a group of peers?
A: I am trying to develop novel therapies for rheumatoid arthritis that would not target the immune system and can be combined with current DMARDs to make them more effective.
Q: What lessons did you learn from your mentor?
A: I had many great mentors, but the one who had the greatest impact on my scientific and clinical career is Gary Firestein. One lesson I learned from him is that defining your field and staying focused is as important as refining and maintaining your skills.
Richard Quinn is a freelance writer in New Jersey.