Women in Oncology: Career Obstacles Turned Into Opportunities

Judith Karp, MD; Azra Raza, MD; and Michelle M. Le Beau, PhD, share the challenges they chose to mold into career goals, including developing a new technology to study cell cytokinetics, identifying gene phenotypes, and recognizing that leukemia diseases stem from the same root issues in DNA.

Catherine E. Lai, MD, MPH, an associate professor and physician leader of the Leukemia Clinical Research Unit at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine, moderates a discussion with Judith Karp, MD; Azra Raza, MD; and Michelle M. Le Beau, PhD, on the challenges they have faced throughout their careers, as well as how they overcame them and how they continue to work toward a better future for leukemia treatment.

Karp is Professor Emerita of Oncology and Medicine at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, where she was a professor of oncology and the director of the Adult Leukemia Program in the Division of Hematologic Malignancies at the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center, until her retirement in 2013. Raza is a professor of medicine and the director of the MDS Center at Columbia University. Le Beau is the Arthur and Marian Edelstein Professor of Medicine and the director of the University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center.

In this episode, Karp, Raza, and LeBeau share the challenges they chose to mold into career goals, including developing a new technology to study cell cytokinetics in humans instead of in mice, the difficulties of identifying genes and their phenotypes to develop the best treatments, and recognizing that the variety of leukemia diseases stem from the same root issues in DNA.

Additionally, these experts highlight the creative methods they’ve found to garner support and funding for their work, the ways in which different disease causes and treatments inform each other, and how the challenges they face can open new doors for more targeted leukemia treatment.

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