Meet the PKD Foundation’s new Director of Research

Elise Hoover, Director of Research

In late September of this year, we welcomed our new Director of Research, Elise Hoover, to the PKD Foundation staff. We reached out to Elise to hear more about her background with PKD research and what she’s looking forward to in her new role:

My name is Elise Hoover and I am the Director of Research at the PKD Foundation. I grew up in a small town in Colorado where we were often snowed in for days at a time. Even though I live in Washington, D.C. now, a much less snowy location, I can’t shake the habit of stocking up on canned food and bottled water during the winter.

Elise (center) at an event as a study coordinator at Tufts in 2014

My family is originally from New England and I headed back to Boston to get my master’s degree in public health after college. My first job out of grad school was as a study coordinator for Dr. Perrone at Tufts Medical Center, where I first met members of the PKD community. I applied for the job to learn about clinical research and kidney disease, but didn’t expect to meet patients who would share their stories so openly with me. I was touched and motivated by the narratives I heard about PKD families and consider those study visits to be a precious time in my early career.

I left Tufts after a few years to work at the National Cancer Institute (NCI). I wanted to learn how the NCI looked at research as a whole to find gaps in the knowledge, prioritized the research topics that needed help, and then fund new research that examines those gaps. In PKD, one of those huge gaps was a treatment for the disease. I’m so excited to see the momentum start to pick up as more and more new compounds and pathways are being discovered and tested. I continue to be motivated by patient narratives, and hope to see changes in the way PKD affects families as new therapies are developed for a generation that were not available to their parents.

Elise (far left) at the 2015 Boston Walk for PKD

I’m so excited to be a part of funding quality PKD research through my new job at the PKD Foundation, to hold conversations that encourage collaboration between researchers and institutions that will one day lead us to a cure for PKD.

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