Courtesy of Columbia University Medical Center
Anca Askanase, MD MPH
A discussion on women's health
This month I have chosen to introduce one of the women I greatly admire, from my former workplace, Columbia University Medical Center. She is a strong, gifted physician and friend: Anca Dinu Askanase. Anca joined Columbia's Rheumatology faculty where she became the founder and clinical director of Columbia's Lupus Center and the Director of Rheumatology Clinical Trials. She is an internationally renowned clinician, diagnostician and researcher specializing in complex Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) and as a Rheumatologist, she has an expertise in Vasculitis, Sjogren's Syndrome, Lupus, Rheumatic Disease and Rheumatoid Arthritis. If these all sound like complicated diseases, well, they are; and it takes someone with a specific skill set to handle all of these complex conditions. Our interview focused on women's health and the changing face of medicine. She talks about how she manages to get the information she needs to best treat her patients, who mostly have one or more of the complex conditions I mentioned above. In order to provide better care for patients suffering from these devastating diseases, she embarked on a journey of research and discovery, with the goal of understanding disease outcomes from both the patients' and physicians' perspective while helping to redefine the latest therapeutic options. She strives to put in place ways to better understand the impact of these conditions and the response to medications, so that everyone will benefit by putting in place effective benchmarks and therapeutic options to better treat patients with often confounding symptoms.
Anca trained as a Rheumatologist at New York University where she remained for more than 15 years on faculty, directing clinical trials, training fellows and residents, and treating challenging cases at NYU's prestigious Hospitals.
In addition to numerous publications and leading clinical trials, she was involved as Site Principal Investigator in the registrational study that led to the FDA approval of Belimumab, the first new Lupus drug in over 50 years. She strongly believes that excellent care often involves bringing novel therapies to her patients with Lupus and other autoimmune diseases.
Anca is also a proud Columbia Alumnus and still lives in Morningside Heights with her husband, two children and her cherished dog, "Milou".
I hope you will be able to watch my interview with her. She has an honest and direct approach with people, which is very much appreciated. Although I never had the chance to work directly with her, we became friends. Not only does she speak perfect French, which I greatly admire, she also has a gentle, kind side that came out as we got to know each other more. Neither one of us had the luxury of a lot of time, but we enjoyed what we could, and with time got to know each other more. What I respect about Anca is her work ethic and the importance her family has in her life. She is fortunate to have such talent and be surrounded with people who love and admire her. This makes her an iconic woman I hope you will enjoy meeting.
Associate Professor of Medicine at CUMC
Education & Training
MPH, Columbia University, Mailman School of Public Health
1989 Instit De Medicina Si Farmacie Carol Davila
MD, Institute of Medicine and Pharmacy-Carol Davilla (Romania)
2003 Columbia University School of Public Health
Internship: St. Lukes Roosevelt Hospital Center
Residency: St. Lukes Roosevelt Hospital Center
Fellowship: Hospital for Joint Diseases
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