The WIB-Atlanta chapter’s March 19, 2015, meeting--at Maggiano’s Little Italy in Buckhead--featured a panel of four leading women researchers working to positively impact cancer outcomes.
The panel included Margaret “Kenny” Offermann, M.D., Ph.D., co-founder and Managing Partner of Salutramed Group, Inc, Patricia Thompson, M.D., Medical Director of Thoracic Oncology & Medical Oncology at the Cancer Treatment Centers of America at Southeastern Regional Medical Center, Lisa Richardson, M.D., M.P.H., Division Director of Cancer Prevention & Control at the CDC, and Susanna Greer, Ph.D., Director of Clinical Cancer Research and Immunology Program at the American Cancer Society and was moderated by Suzanne Shope, J.D.
Despite their differing professional experiences, these women shared a number of opinions. The panel’s consensus was that if you work hard enough--and use your mind--there are no challenges you (a woman in bio) cannot overcome. They advocated using networking to find mentors who can help you out along the way. Also, the panelists discussed the current funding situation and the need to find new ways to improve the system. They encouraged writing letters to state legislators about research funding. Dr. Offermann suggested using the letter templates on the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology’s website, which was developed to help improve funding while she was president of the organization. All members of the panel agreed that the current lack of funding and public support for science is the biggest challenge to women in oncology – largely because it threatens science as a whole.
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