During XLH Day, our Scientific Advisory Board offered special recognition to a high school student, Lindsay Peifer, for her dedication to science.
Lindsay's XLH was confirmed by DNA testing and is spontaneous, which, she says, is "pretty obvious because I'm a full foot shorter than the rest of my family."
Like many other XLH patients, she grew up with many hospital visits to see specialists and had corrective surgeries, but unlike many others, she became fascinated with biology and the health sciences, especially genetics. In high school, she worked with the Network's Scientific Advisory Board chair, Carolyn Macica PhD, and John Sterpka to find her specific gene mutation by extracting my DNA from her cheek cells and preparing it for sequencing. She then presented her project at her school’s symposium and was interviewed by a local news station. She plans to study pre-medicine and genetics, cell biology, and development at the University of Minnesota, Twin-Cities, so she can help other people with rare diseases in the future.
During XLH Day, she did a presentation that addressed how she became interested in science in the course of trying to understand her own health, and then laying out what she'd learned in the course of her school project.