Maureane Hoffman, professor of pathology at Duke University School of Medicine, has spent the past 30 years studying bleeding disorders and the cellular mechanisms of hemostasis, or the stoppage of blood flow. More recently, she has focused on the relationships among blood coagulation, inflammation, and wound healing. For example, Dr. Hoffman has examined how anticoagulants (blood-thinning medications) affect the formation of new blood vessels and how wound healing after surgery may be affected by the anticoagulants that are often given to prevent dangerous blood clotting after surgery. Other elements of Dr. Hoffman’s work include regenerative medicine in the military and how diabetes affects wound healing.
Dr. Hoffman recently received funding to examine the safety of a new treatment for the bleeding disorder hemophilia. Her research aims to explain more accurately how the antibody therapy works and how to avoid adverse reactions that may occur when it is used with other medications. This project is just one example of how Dr. Hoffman’s work in basic science can be applied to improve patient care: work in the laboratory contributes to the development of new products and new, safer applications of existing products for patients. She describes how being a physician-scientist is personally rewarding, too: “By changing ideas and innovating, you can help a whole lot more people than you can see [in the clinic] yourself.”
The Institute for Medical Research has been helpful, Dr. Hoffman says, by managing federal grants and helping her navigate the logistics of conducting research in large institutions. Since IMR is not a big bureaucracy, Dr. Hoffman has been able to enjoy “working closely with individuals who are helpful and seem to care about me being able to do the research.” She is thankful to be able to conduct her research at the Durham VA. IMR is proud to support Dr. Hoffman’s contributions to the health and healing of our veterans.