Demetrios Braddock, MD, PhD, is a pathologist who specializes in diagnosing blood cancers and diseases, especially a rare disease called generalized arterial calcification of infancy (GACI). As an undergraduate student, Dr. Braddock discovered that he enjoyed the creativity of research, in addition to possibility of helping patients. He decided to pursue a PhD during his medical training. “I enjoy working at the interface of what we know and don’t know, and expanding that border to advance medicine,” he says.
Since coming to Yale, Dr. Braddock has led research in his laboratory on a particular molecule called the ENPP enzyme. Enzymes, produced by cells in the body, serve as catalysts for different biological functions. The family of ENPP enzymes in particular help with blood vessel development and bone mineralization. Patients suffering from GACI usually have calcium deposits built up within their blood vessels, which interfere with blood flow. Dr. Braddock studies drugs that serve as enzyme replacement therapy to address rare diseases. “I will get phone calls from physicians all over who want more information about diagnosing GACI and who want to learn more about it,” he says.
For him, patient care is one of the most significant motivators in his research lab and in the clinic, when he is examining a patient sample for evidence of disease. “The physician cannot begin treatment of a patient without the correct diagnosis,” he says. “That’s where we come in and try to get the accurate clinical diagnosis for what we see microscopically.”
At Yale School of Medicine, Dr. Braddock is an associate professor of pathology.