Vera P. Krymskaya, PhD, MBA, FCPP, whose seminal discoveries at the University of Pennsylvania Center for Pulmonary Biology paved the way for an FDA-approved clinical treatment for the rare lung disease lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM) and the inherited hamartoma syndrome, tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC), was elected Feb. 2 to a three-year term on the Board of Directors of the Philadelphia-based National Disease Research Interchange (NDRI).
“Dr. Krymskaya’s expertise in rare lung disease will be instrumental in advancing NDRI’s contributions toward scientific research into rare and common lung diseases, which impact so many people in the prime of their life”
Dr. Krymskaya is a professor of medicine at the Perelman School of Medicine and leads Penn’s Laboratory of Rare Lung Diseases in the Pulmonary, Allergy & Critical Care Division of the Department of Medicine. She specializes in rare and common lung diseases, including LAM, TSC-LAM, Birt-Hogg-Dube, idiopathic multicentric Castleman’s disease, pulmonary arterial hypertension, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma.
LAM tissues procured by NDRI, in cooperation with the LAM Foundation, helped Dr. Krymskaya uncover the function of tumor suppressor tuberous sclerosis complex 2 (TSC2) that paved the way for the immunosuppressive drug sirolimus (also known as rapamycin or Rapamune) — the first effective treatment for LAM. Currently, she is principal investigator of the SOS Clinical Trial to determine the safety of simvastatin, an HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor or lipid-lowering medication, in combination with either sirolimus or everolimus (also known as Afinitor) in patients with LAM and TS-LAM.
“Dr. Krymskaya’s expertise in rare lung disease will be instrumental in advancing NDRI’s contributions toward scientific research into rare and common lung diseases, which impact so many people in the prime of their life,” said Bill Leinweber, president and CEO of NDRI, the nation’s leading source of human tissues, cells and organs for scientific research. “Aligning ourselves with great biomedical minds offers critical insight to the very specific needs of researchers whose work toward critical breakthroughs promises to change the trajectory of care for millions of individuals.”
Due to her groundbreaking research efforts, Dr. Krymskaya has received numerous awards including the Science Advancement Award and Established Investigator Award from the LAM Foundation, continued funding from National Institutes of Health/National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, Department of Defense, and American Lung Association. She serves on the Scientific Advisory Board of the LAM Foundation, and the Castleman’s Disease Collaborative Network. She is a member of the Department of Defense TSC Research Program Scientific Peer Review Council, and serves on the editorial board of the American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology and as a reviewer for many reputed journals including the Journal of Clinical Investigation, Cancer Research, and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, among others. Dr. Krymskaya is an elected fellow of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia.
At the University of Pennsylvania, she is chair-elect of the Penn Forum for Women Faculty, and a member of the Cardiovascular Institute, Center of Excellence for Environmental Toxicology, LAM Clinic, and the Abramson Cancer Center.