Mara Becker, MD, is currently professor of pediatrics and the vice chair for faculty in the Department of Pediatrics at Duke University School of Medicine, North Carolina, where she is also a faculty leader at the Duke Clinical Research Institute.
rior to arriving at Duke in 2019, she spent 13 years at Children’s Mercy, Kansas City, where she completed additional fellowship training in pediatric clinical pharmacology and served as division director of rheumatology and associate chair for the Department of Pediatrics.
Dr Becker’s research interest is to identify factors that enhance response and minimize toxicity to drugs used for the treatment of diseases in children, focusing on an individualized therapeutic strategy. Her translational research focuses on methotrexate and its effect on the folate pathway, using cellular biomarkers and genetic differences to predict drug efficacy in patients with JIA; but also expands to the exploration of differences in the folate pathway in patients with Down syndrome, investigating novel cytokine biomarkers, and identifying opportunities for biologic therapeutic drug monitoring. Her research has been funded by the Kansas City Area Life Sciences Institute, the PhRMA Foundation, the Rheumatology Research Foundation, and the National Institutes of Health.
In addition to her administrative work locally, Dr Becker is currently actively involved in several national committees including the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Arthritis Advisory Committee, the ACR, the American Board of Pediatrics Rheumatology Subboard, the Rheumatology Research Foundation Board of Directors, and the Childhood Arthritis and Rheumatology Research Alliance.