Dr. Makris is a clinical rheumatologist specializing in treating older adults. I was “trained in geriatrics and aging principles, focusing on health services and outcomes research.” Her current career path reflects her childhood experiences: “Perhaps not surprising since my work now focuses on aging populations, I was inspired at an early age by the stories shared by my grandparents and extended family in Serbia,” she said.
“I spent summers absorbing stories and learning from their experiences (both successes and stumbles) while gaining a love for listening to other people. Much of what we do in medicine and research is about listening carefully to stories.”
Contributions to STEMM
Dr. Makris’s research interests combine her expertise as a rheumatologist with her passion for wellness. “My research focuses on developing innovative behavioral interventions to improve outcomes that matter most to older adults with musculoskeletal pain and comorbid depressive symptoms,” she said.
“What I enjoy most is collaborating as an interdisciplinary team, including expertise in rheumatology, geriatrics, clinical psychology, and rehabilitation.”
Dr. Makris cites her biggest risk taken as “venturing into a research territory (behavioral interventions) that I wasn't familiar with at first! As I assembled a team of expert mentors in this interdisciplinary field that I am lucky to work in, I gained confidence and skills that are unique in my field,” she said.
“My advice for others is to surround yourself with brilliant, kind, fun colleagues and be patient with yourself as you learn. Then repeat.”
The UT Southwestern Difference
“I love being part of this academic community that values and prioritizes mentoring the next generation,” Dr. Makris said of her career at UT Southwestern.
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“Mentoring is the best way to grow and give back. I urge everyone to think carefully about what skill, no matter how big or small, you can share with those around you.”