Mary Hammes is an Associate Professor of Medicine and Medical Director of Woodlawn DaVita Dialysis. She has been on faculty since 1995 with a unique long term experience with ESRD hemodialysis patients, following a cohort of in-center hemodialysis patients longitudinally for over 25 years. These patients are the base for numerous studies which have helped improve various aspects of their care. She has been a PI from 2011-2018 on an NIH funded project that has enabled an understanding of the research process and the commitment it entails.
My work life balance comes to me through exercise, mainly through long distance running. I have been an avid runner since my college years. I have come to know myself very well, what works and what doesn’t, for example I clearly know I excel at slow long distance. Exercise provides solitude in the often hectic urban environment we face at University of Chicago. I start my day with a run, finding peace in the early morning hours as the sun comes up, I sort and prioritize all that I need to do. I have had struggles, injuries and endure pain, but these are times when I slow down and redirect my goals. Vacations with my family, including my husband and two young adults, are active adventures such as: biking, backpacking, hiking, and fishing.
Advice to Women Faculty
Take advantage of all the University of Chicago has to offer. We work at a leading research institution with unlimited resources. My advice is: Parallelize your approach. Instead of a step wise approach, I find it best to work on different aspects of a project at one time, they will complement each other when the project comes to completion. Always have a backup plan. Focus and Commit. Research is not easy. It is however, incredibly rewarding especially when you add to a discovery that you know will help patients. Be fearless and accept a challenge. Don’t be afraid to step outside your comfort zone and fail. This only makes you stronger.