Jan 26, 2017
Dr. Catherine Weiler’s career has been dedicated to the treatment and study of allergy, immunology and mast cell disorders. She has been in the Division of Allergy at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN since 1998, is currently the Co-Director of Mayo Program for Mast Cell and Eosinophilic Disorders and will be the incoming Chair of the Mast Cell Disorders Committee for the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI) as of March, 2017. This committee is composed of physicians from all over the world who meet to discuss key issues and initiatives critical to the lives of patients with mast cell disorders. Dr. Weiler will also be joining us for the TMS Challenges Meeting, which will further advance the momentum of these initiatives, especially creating the new US Network for Mast Cell Disorders.
Originally born in Kuwait, Dr. Weiler was honored by the Prince of Kuwait in 1983. After education at the University of Kuwait for her BMS and MD studies, she completed her PhD at the Mayo Graduate School and performed postdoctoral research in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, also at Mayo. She attended Duke University Medical-Center, Raleigh-Durham, NC, as part of the training of her clinical allergy fellowship. This hard working physician also obtained a mini MBA in business from St. Thomas University in St. Paul, MN. She was a recipient of the Young Investigator Award of the AAAAI, The Board of Governors Recognition at the Mayo Clinic for Compassionate Care, and the Harry A. Swedlund Outstanding Clinician Award in 2004, and then was elected as a fellow to the AAAAI in 2006.
Dr. Weiler is the author of numerous peer-reviewed articles, either under Weiler CR, or under her maiden name of Abu-Ghazaleh RI. She sees patients at the Mayo Center in conjunction with her colleague and co-founder of the Program, Joseph Butterfield, MD, and several other specialists. Dr. Weiler is known to be warm and empathetic to her patients, and they are always eager to return to her for care. Working on committees with her, we at TMS see her as very dedicated, fun to work with and very compassionate.
We are fortunate to have had Dr. Weiler attend numerous TMS annual meetings and she has also worked closely with board and research committee members as a previous member of our TMS Medical Advisory Board. She was the original author and presenter of the first version of our “Mast Cell Primer”, an introduction to the most basic facts about mast cells and mast cell disorders, written primarily for new patients. In our conversation with her she shared the fact that 95% of the patients with lesser symptoms of mast cell disorders (MCD), including indolent systemic mastocytosis and mast cell activation syndrome, have the same life expectancy as individuals without MCD. She also mentioned that men with osteoporosis, of unknown cause, should be checked for systemic mastocytosis (SM) as it is a “red flag” for having it. For women, having osteoporosis is not a strong indicator of SM, because other factors contribute naturally to the development of osteoporosis in women.
Recently, Dr. Weiler reports that she has been following the progress of Masitinib, a tyrosine-kinase inhibitor, as well other drugs in that class, and has hopes that drugs currently in trials will offer hope in the future for treatment of Mast Cell Disorders.
Dr. Weiler is married and has two wonderful children! We look forward to the continued support and engagement of Dr. Weiler as we all work towards a cure for Mast Cell Disorders.
Information for this article came from an interview with Dr. Weiler conducted by Russell Hirshon, TMS webmaster, her CV, and from Valerie M. Slee, RN, BSN, TMS Chair, conducted January 2017.