Karyssa Stonick completed her B.S. in speech and hearing sciences at Portland State University in 2022. During her undergraduate research she worked on a project studying breathing-swallowing coordination in people with motor neuron disease under Dr. Deanna Britton. She led a project to examine the experiences of dysphagia among people with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome with or without dysautonomia. After graduation, Karyssa joined the Asthma Lab at Oregon Health and Science University as a Research Assistant 2. There, she used transgenic mice that express diphtheria toxin A (DTA) behind the eosinophil peroxidase promoter (EPX), which results in in eosinophil depletion, to investigate if the role of IL-33 in the development of allergic asthma is dependent on eosinophils.
Currently, Karyssa works as a postbaccalaureate fellow in Dr. Peter Grayson’s lab at NIAMS. She plans to pursue a career as a medical scientist via an MD-PhD with a focus on how the immune system interacts with other body systems in both health and disease.
Karyssa’s laboratory work focuses on use of next generation sequencing techniques of blood and tissue for biomarker discovery and development in different forms of vasculitis, with particular focus on relapsing polychondritis, VEXAS syndrome, and large-vessel vasculitis.
For clinical research, Karyssa works with relapsing polychondritis patients and those with currently undefined diseases with a goal of understanding the factors that may help determine prognosis, treatment options, and to work towards understanding the disease mechanisms.