Dr. Chip Norris
My major clinical interests involve understanding the genetic and biological causes for connective tissue diseases. While my past research has focused on valvular heart diseases, current and future efforts also include studying hypermobile Ehlers Danlos Syndrome (hEDS). To accomplish goals of uncovering hEDS disease causes and therapeutic development, I have established effective and long-standing collaborations with clinicians, geneticists and members of academic and pharmaceutical drug discovery programs in the US and abroad. Our conceptual approach stemming from our research programs follow a ‘cycle of discovery’. In this cycle, we start with the hEDS patient to identify genetic causes of clinically relevant disease and associated morbidities. This information then leads to generation of models and discovery of pathways that can inform therapies to take back to the patient, thus closing the cycle. In order to be successful requires a critical mass of researchers focused on this disease. Having mentored or advised over 100 PhD students and countless medical students, residents and clinical fellows, I hope to usher in a new type of clinician or scientist who appreciates and can recognize rare diseases like hEDS. By starting summer internship programs focused on hEDS as well as having committed PhD and MD/PhD students on board, I envision developing a collective group that can focus on hEDS disease causes. By doing so, we can move the needle in hEDS research and develop new rationale therapies that improve patient health and lead to a better quality of life.