Dr. Marilyn Glassberg, Gerald Wolf, Dr. Elana Oberstein
Dr. Marilyn Glassberg: I am Dr. Marilyn Glassberg. I'm a pulmonologist at the University of Miami School of Medicine in Miami, Florida. We've been studying the lung and interstitial lung disease, which is a disease of lung tissue. One of the extraordinary risk factors is tobacco smoke. More than 60 percent of patients, women and men, who develop pulmonary fibrosis, which basically hardens your lungs, you can't extract oxygen any more from the air, you're in pretty bad shape.
Those patients, 60 percent of them, have smoked. We are one of a handful of centers now, maybe two handfuls by now, that are pioneering several drugs to treat one form of interstitial lung disease-- idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. The point of all of these trials, that is to take work that's been in the laboratory and bring it to the patient.
Gerald Wolf, Patient: I'm grateful for the fact that she is conducting the study and I'm here. That's the thing I'm most thankful for and I do credit her and the study and the medication for that.
Dr. Marilyn Glassberg: I'm treating patients with drugs that are brand new, that have never been used for this disease before, that we hope are going to improve their survival. But at least there's some new treatment for them, because before, for patients with this type of interstitial lung disease, known as IPF-- idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis-- there were no treatments. I think for everyone, mentors are important throughout your life. They give you hints about things you can do that you probably never thought about.
Dr. Elana Oberstein, Chief Medical Resident: I look up to her for everything. I look at her and her spirit and her energy which she sees patients and the passion that she deals with interesting clinical cases and the passion which she deals with her family and perhaps, over time, I have picked up a lot of those qualities. It has been seven years that I've been, somewhat, following in her footsteps. And if I could be half as successful as she is, I'd be in a great place in life.
Dr. Marilyn Glassberg: What I try to do, too, is mentor them in what they're good at, not necessarily, although I think the easiest way to mentor is what you do. It's much more of a challenge to take the time and the energy to see what the other person's gifts are and go forward.
The award, to be a Local Legend in Florida, is a very important award for me. The state has really been very concerned and devoted to getting the research more advanced in terms of what tobacco smoke does in the lung. So it's truly an honor to be recognized for what the state has done for all of us.