Contributions to STEMM
Dr. Wright is a pediatric rheumatologist who cares for children with autoimmune diseases. “I am especially passionate about improving outcomes for children and adolescents with lupus, an inflammatory disease that disproportionately impacts women of color,” she said. As a researcher, she “seeks to understand the immune mechanisms that contribute to the development of lupus to ultimately improve our ability to diagnose and treat this disease.” Dr. Wright also helps train the next generation of pediatric rheumatologists.
As Chief of the Pediatric Rheumatology Division, Dr. Wright has embraced the opportunity “to build a stronger Division through the investment in all team members in moving to the next level of excellence.”
“It is critically important to ensure all young girls see role models who look like them. I am an African American. While I first considered a future career in medicine as a young girl, I did not meet an African American female physician until I was a college student,” Dr. Wright recalled. “My first role models were the strong women in my family – especially my mother,” she said. Decades later, Dr. Wright is still motivated by the memory of her mother’s defense when an adult stated: “‘Why, you can't do that!’ when I shared what I wanted to be when I grew up,” she said.
“My mom was swift and firm in her response to let this individual know that her daughter could be anything she wanted to be. Not everyone hears such powerful words of affirmation when thinking about the future.”
The UT Southwestern Difference
“I thoroughly enjoy taking care of patients and getting to know them over time. Talking with patients about their interests and future plans is just as rewarding as managing the diseases that impact them,” Dr. Wright said of her career at UT Southwestern. “Pediatric rheumatology is a rapidly growing field as our understanding of disease mechanisms deepens. Our translational research in this area is intellectually stimulating and has also significantly changed how I care for patients.”
Dr. Wright is deeply honored to partake in the Celebrating Breakthroughs Together Project. She recognizes this initiative as an opportunity to “help showcase the broad range of talent and expertise amongst the female faculty at UT Southwestern and provide a multitude of affirming voices to let young girls know the possibilities of careers in science and medicine are endless.”