A Love That Bloomed in the Lab


A month of his 2011 summer vacation was devoted to working in the reproductive endocrine department at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. Dr. Edward Ryan Horton. After graduating from Brown University, he was hoping to land a full-time position at the lab.

Dr. Horton, 31, who goes by Ned, says he was “this kind of nervous college kid working in the lab.”

32-year-old Dr. Valerie Feryal Sidhoum had been employed at the lab since 2010.

Valerie had already graduated and was an active member of Dr. Horton’s research team.

For most of the summer, they had become acquaintances through work, but outside of that, they rarely ran into each other. After Dr. Horton graduated and started working in the lab full time in the summer of 2012, they became friends.

There are a lot of similarities between Dr. Horton and Val, he explained. There were times when the two of us were “always making each other laugh right away.”

It didn’t hurt that they were seated just three feet apart in the lab. They began meeting up with friends in Boston, and in August of that year, Dr. Horton invited Dr. Sidhoum out to dinner. Few days later, on her birthday, he gave her a box of chocolate mice, and by the end of the month, they were engaged.

A new chapter in their lives, medical school, was about to begin at the same time as their relationship was beginning.

Doctor Sidhoum laughed as he said, “The second we started dating, we started applying to medical school, which is pretty horrible.” When they applied to colleges, they made a point of targeting those on the East Coast, hoping to be accepted into programmes closer to each other.

Dr. Sidhoum left for Rutgers University in New Brunswick, N.J., in the fall of 2013 after their plan came together. Dr. Horton attended the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. Even though they had very little time for anything else, they made it a point to meet up on the weekends.

As a child, Dr. Sidhoum realised that Ned was exceptional. she felt like our relationship really took off in med school because it was so difficult and he gave me the support I needed to get through it,” she said.

A neuromuscular disease fellow at the University of Pennsylvania and a cardiologist fellow at Temple University, Dr. Sidhoum and Dr. Horton now live together in Philadelphia.

Dr. Horton and Dr. Sidhoum travelled to New York City in October 2018 under the guise of visiting family and friends. He got down on one knee in front of the Balto statue in Central Park after lunch at the Loeb Boathouse and proposed to his girlfriend, Dr. Sidhoum. Dr. Horton still had one more surprise for Dr. Sidhoum: He had brought both of their families to New York to celebrate their marriage.

Dr. Sidhoum said, “I was like this is so typical of Ned.” I admire how thoughtful and considerate Ned is.

Before 55 guests, Dr. Horton married his childhood sweetheart in Cambridge, Mass., on June 12. In order to officiate the ceremony, Dr. Sidhoum’s brother Faycal was granted a one-day marriage designation by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.