Name: Dr. Joy Cavagnaro
Where do you work? Access BIO -Boyce, VA (President and Founder)
How long have you been working on FA and who was the first fellow FA researcher you met? 2017; Dr. Mark Payne
What got you interested in FA research? Ron Bartek
What question or challenge were you setting out to address when you started this work? Interaction with regulatory authorities to educate them about the disease and gain a better understanding of acceptable biomarkers to assess both safety and efficacy in order to facilitate clinical development.
What research topics or questions are you currently focused on? My focus is on optimizing the translation of novel treatment modalities to the clinic.
What do you hope to achieve or what excites you in FA research? The various therapeutic modalities that have recently been discovered and continue to be discovered and explored; having an opportunity to determine the most efficient way to leverage discovery research and develop scientifically rationale preclinical safety evaluation programs to support clinical investigation and ultimate product approval.
If you have met someone living with FA, please tell us about that interaction. Did it have an impact on your work? While I have been uniquely impressed by every single person that I have met who is living with the disease – I have been universally impressed with the many families who are the support for each of these individuals living with FA. It is impossible not to want to become a part of the extended FARA family, "FAmily". N.B.- must be willing to hug a lot and cry sometimes, both happy and sad tears.
You serve voluntarily on FARA's Scientific Advisory Board. Please tell us what you see as FARA's key role in the research process. The key is to be the center of excellence for all things FA. Importantly, be an open (precompetitive) resource to better understand the disease in order to support not only identification of mechanisms for intervention but also to better understand mechanisms of toxicity if identified in clinical trials.
Tell us more about yourself and/ or your journey with FA research. My journey has just recently began but because of basic researchers, in particular those who have dedicated their entire research careers to FA, over the past two decades, there are better signs to follow. As a translational researcher, I will continue to pursue the "Fast Track."