Dr. Maria M. Picken Cited for Work on Amyloidosis Disease
MAYWOOD -- The College of American Pathologists has honored Loyola University Health System pathologist Maria M. Picken, MD, PhD, for her work on the rare disease amyloidosis. Amyloidosis is a potentially fatal disease that occurs when substances called amyloid proteins build up in organs such as the heart, kidneys, liver and spleen. The college awarded Picken its Pathologist Spotlight Service Award in recognition of her dedication to the specialty and for serving as a medical advisor to Amyloidosis Support Groups, Inc. The organization, based in Wood Dale, Il., serves amyloidosis support groups throughout the country.
"Her warm and compassionate manner to help educate patients about this often debilitating disease is inspirational," said Dr. Robert Breckenridge, a member of the college's board of governors. Picken is a professor in the Department of Pathology and director of renal pathology at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine. She has published 140 research papers. Her subspecialty is kidney disease. She is president-elect of the Renal Pathology Society and a member of the advisory board of the American Society of Nephrology. Amyloidosis is difficult to diagnose. It requires an examination of tissue specimens by a pathologist and a clinical exam by the patient's doctor.
"As a pathologist, I diagnose amyloidosis and know how important it is for patients to understand this disease so that they can evaluate treatment options and make lifestyle changes, if necessary," Picken said.