CTSI Featured Personality: Mireya Gonzalez-Begne Felhazy

Dr. Felhazy joined the Clinical and Translational Science Institute’s Mentored Career Development Program (also known as Felhazythe KL2 Program) in July, 2009. Her research involves the identification of biomarkers for Sjögren’s Syndrome, an underdiagnosed autoimmune disease of the salivary system, and the characterization of the salivary proteome in subjects with and without the disease. Read the abstract of Dr. Felhazy’s project.

Multidisciplinary teamwork is a hallmark of the Clinical and Translational Science Institute and the KL2 Program, and Dr. Felhazy has been extraordinarily successful in bringing together a diverse team of experts. “The KL2 Program has given me the opportunity to work with many different researchers, both inside the Medical Center and across the country,” says Dr. Felhazy. Her collaborators include her mentor, Dr. Ignacio Sanz and Dr. Jennifer Anolik, from the Department of Medicine, Allergy/Immunology and Rheumatology; Dr. Rob Quivey from the Center for Oral Biology; Dr. Gene Watson from the Salivary Gland Dysfunction Center; Edwin Van Wijngaarden, Ph.D. from Public Health Sciences; Dr. Anthony Almudevar from Biostatistics and Computational Biology; Dr. John Yates ΙΙΙ from the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, CA; and Dr. Michael Iadarola and Dr. James E. Melvin from the National Institutes of Health.

Says Dr. Sanz: “Mireya created a network of scientists that has substantially improved our understanding of Sjögren’s Syndrome. Her work, and her collaborators, should lead to treatments that will improve the health of people with Sjögren’s.”

The KL2 Program also allowed Dr. Felhazy to take courses in clinical and translational research at the Medical Center, including Principles of Biostatistics, Principles of Epidemiology, Experimental Therapeutics and Practical Skills in Grant writing. In addition, the program provided the means for her to be trained in multidimensional protein identification technology (MudPIT) mass spectrometry. “The knowledge and skills I gained through my coursework and training have allowed me to take my research in new directions,” says Dr. Felhazy.

Dr. Felhazy’s success as a Career Development Scholar was recognized at the 2010 annual meeting of the Society for Clinical and Translational Science, where her poster received the first place award.

Related Publication

Salivary anti-Ro60 and anti-Ro52 antibody profiles to diagnosis Sjögren’s Syndrome. Ching KH, Burbelo PD, Gonzalez-Begne M, Roberts MEP, Coca A, Sanz I, Iadarola MJ. J Dent Res. 2011 April; 90(4): 445–449


Dr. Felhazy will present at the Mexican Proteomics Society meeting in Puebla, Morelos, Mexico in November, 2011.