Professor Lilach O. Lerman, MD, PhD (USA)

Position: Professor of Medicine and Physiology

Affiliation: Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA

  • What is your role at your work?

Director, Reno-Vascular Research Laboratory;

Associate Chair for Research, Division of Nephrology and Hypertension

  • How did you get interested in your career path?

    Somewhat incidentally and serendipitously: I was interested in imaging research, and the most exciting opportunity at the time was kidney imaging with a new CT scanner. In order to understand the imaging findings I needed to delve into renal physiology and pathophysiology, and the rest is history!

  • What are you most proud of in your career or otherwise?

–       Recruiting outstanding personnel and establishing a productive, harmonious, and effective team with vast expertise, collegiality, and collaborative spirit.

–       Training bright young investigators to become successful, independent, scholarly, and committed to academic careers in research.

  • What important career challenges have you faced and how did you overcome them?

Securing independence at the early stage, and struggling with declining federal funding sources. The solution was to continuously develop new ideas and cutting edge tools to remain competitive, and to continuously submit grant proposals.

  • What advice would you give your younger self?

Pursue your interests regardless of current scientific fashions and trends, do not give up, and handle rejections nonchalantly.

  • Highlight your most significant research contributions and publications (3-5) – if relevant to you.

Hard to decide

  • Have you had any significant career mentors? If yes, please provide further details.

I was extremely lucky to benefit from two mentors with complementary expertise and mentorship styles:

  1. J. Carlos Romero, MD (deceased):  renal physiology
  2. Erik L. Ritman, MD, PhD: physiological imaging

  • How can we support the next generation of women scientists?

Assign empowering mentors; provide encouragement and seed funds; have a quota for women speakers in large meetings