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David Stukus, MD

Q: Why did you become an allergist?

A: My undergraduate major was in Molecular Biology, and I’ve always loved thinking about the complex pathophysiological processes that lead to health and disease on a very basic level. I also found myself gravitating towards every psychology course I could take at the time. Back then, I didn’t recognize how these two interests intersected or would influence my career.

A few years later during my pediatric residency, I became fascinated by all the admissions for asthma exacerbations each autumn and winter. I began to wonder why this one condition could lead to such heterogeneity surrounding causes, contributing factors, and response to treatment, not to mention the psychology and behavioral economics involved in addressing non-adherence.

Shortly thereafter, we received a presentation about the complement system from one of the allergists at our institution, Becky Scherzer (now my friend and co-worker!). I was amazed at the ease with which she explained this very complex and abstract process. That’s when I knew that I wanted to better understand complex and evolving constructs surrounding the immune system to not only help as many children with allergic conditions find a path towards successful management but also to help educate others.

Now, I LOVE using my expertise to provide easy to understand answers to very complex questions. Perhaps now I can inspire some resident or medical student out there to do the same.

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