Women in Oncology: Resilience That Leads to Innovation


Selina M. Luger, MD, FRCPC; Gail J. Roboz, MD; and Wendy Stock, MD, discuss how they turned their leukemia career “lemons” into “lemonade.”

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 Selina M. Luger, MD, FRCPC; Gail J. Roboz, MD; and Wendy Stock, MD, on how they turned leukemia career “lemons” into “lemonade.”

Luger is an attending physician, professor of medicine, and interim director of the Penn-Vinmec Oncology Center of Excellence at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. Roboz is a professor of medicine and the director of the Clinical and Translational Leukemia Program at the Weill Medical College of Cornell University and the NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital. Stock is the Anjuli Seth Nayak Professor of Medicine and a professor in the Comprehensive Cancer Research Center at the University of Chicago Medicine.

In this episode, Luger, Roboz, and Stock discuss times when their plans veered in directions different from what they expected, such as the challenges of spearheading a leukemia program, designing a trial that never happened, and developing a well-researched regimen that nevertheless fell short. In highlighting their most memorable roadblocks, they share how they turned these obstacles into inspirations for further advancement in the field of leukemia treatment.

The 3 experts also reflect on what they learned from each of these experiences, including the details of designing studies, the value of research that leads to networking, and how leaving one institution opens other doors and is a catalyst for gaining the necessary confidence for effective leadership. Additionally, they express their gratitude that moments like these helped them speak up about their work and develop their authoritative voices.

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