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Karen Gottesman is both a patient and a long-standing patient advocate, and has been serving the scleroderma community in various leadership roles for over 17 years. She is the author of The First Year – Scleroderma, An Essential Guide for the Newly Diagnosed, and currently serves as Director of Pharma and Biotech Engagement for the Scleroderma Foundation, Inc. bringing the voice of the patient into the drug development process. Karen also serves on many advisory boards, both nationally and internationally, including her role as a patient consultant on drug advisory committees for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and a reviewer for the Department of Defense (DOD)Peer Reviewed Medical Research Program. In addition to SPIN, her consulting focuses on optimizing patient centered outcomes in scleroderma related research development.