When it comes to understanding and treating orphan diseases, "it’s the beginning of a new era," says Dr. Jerome Baudry, the Mrs. Pei-Ling Chan Professor of Biological Sciences at UAH. Until now, he explains, healthcare providers have tended to treat conditions that affect fewer than 200,000 people nationwide by "trying to fix what is broken." But with recent advances in clinical pharmacology, the approach is now shifting to identifying and eliminating the problem-causing toxins that accrete in the body as a result of the condition. "The complexity is a challenge, but the work that has been done recently is opening doors we didn’t even know existed," he says. "We really think we’re at a tipping point, clinically and pharmacologically, and in 10 years things will be vastly better than they are now."