Newsmaker: Dr. Gwendolyn A. Sowa
Residence: Mt. Lebanon
Family: Husband, Mark; two children
Occupation: Assistant professor in the department of physical medicine and rehabilitation at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, with a secondary appointment in the orthopedics department; co-director of the Ferguson Laboratory for Orthopaedic Research
Education: Bachelor's degree in chemistry from Lafayette College; doctorate in biochemistry and degree in medicine, both from the University of Wisconsin
Background: Primarily investigates the role of mechanical forces and exercise-based therapies in disc degeneration and low back pain; treats outpatients with back pain and other musculoskeletal disorders at offices in Oakland and Bethel Park; conducts research into gene-based therapies for treating degenerative conditions of the spine
Noteworthy: Selected to receive the Dennis W. Jahnigen Career Development Scholars Award, which provides two-year grants of $200,000 to assist young faculty in a career in the geriatrics aspect of their discipline
Quote: "We are very excited about this opportunity to gain a greater understanding (of low back pain) and impact the treatment of low back pain, which affects such a large proportion of our aging population. In conjunction with the already dynamic research in aging and low back pain at the University of Pittsburgh, it is our hope that we will be able to help patients maintain an active lifestyle with less pain."