Did you know? February 11 is International Day of Women and Girls in Science!

While we’ve seen significant progress related to participation of women and girls in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), they are still underrepresented in these fields. For continued innovation and development in STEM, it’s imperative that women and girls feel empowered to achieve their goals and help change the future of science and medicine. 

There has been incredible progress in the SMA community; new breakthroughs in basic research, drug development, combination therapy, and standards of care, to name a few. These advancements are made possible by many individuals, including women who are helping accelerate SMA research and care.

With this in mind, Cure SMA would like to highlight two women who have been instrumental in the progress of SMA clinical care.

Meet Diana Castro, MD

Dr. Diana Castro wanted to be a doctor since she was 5 years old. While she was in medical school, she knew she had a passion to work with children. Ultimately, she decided that the field of pediatric neuromuscular diseases would allow her work to encompass many systems within the body, instead of a singular focus.

For over a decade, Dr. Castro has worked with SMA patients and believes her most important role has been diagnosing and caring for patients, as well as being part of the early development stages for FDA-approved SMA treatments.

Most recently, she had the honor of being part of the Cure SMA Care Center Network and is excited about elevating the quality of care for all people with SMA. 

 

“Be passionate about your work and show compassion to your patients while always giving 100%!”

 

Meet Mary Schroth, MD, Chief Medical Officer at Cure SMA

Since high school, Dr. Mary Schroth was fascinated by how the human body works, especially the respiratory system. Though it took time and perseverance, her desire to help people and relieve their discomfort led her to a career in medicine.

In learning about spinal muscularly atrophy (SMA), she saw an opportunity in the rare disease space to conquer new challenges, to think creatively, and to have a significant impact.

Throughout her years as a pediatric pulmonologist, she learned as much as she could about supporting the respiratory status of children with SMA. Additionally, she established a standard of care for SMA pulmonary disease and is considered an expert in the field.

Currently, Dr. Schroth has the privilege of bringing healthcare professionals together to collaborate and establish an evidence-based standard of care for SMA.

“Listen to yourself and stick to your passion. What brings you joy in your work? Let these answers guide your path.”

 

Do you know any extraordinary women in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields that are connected to our community? Please reach out to us at [email protected] and tell us more!