I am a physician-scientist currently completing my clinical residency in radiation oncology at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. I completed my MD and PhD at the University of Kansas School of Medicine, where I studied BRCA1-dependent repair of radiation- and chemotherapy-induced DNA double-strand breaks and interstrand crosslinks in breast and ovarian cancer. This research, funded by a Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Program Predoctoral Fellowship, identified a clinically-viable strategy to reverse DNA repair-mediated resistance to ionizing radiation, platinum-based chemotherapy, and poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) inhibitors in resistant and refractory breast and ovarian cancers.
My clinical interests are in the management of patients with breast and gynecologic cancers using state-of-the-art radiation therapy techniques. I am also interested in the clinical genetics and management of patients with hereditary breast and ovarian cancer syndrome (HBOC), caused by inherited mutations in BRCA1, BRCA2, and several other genes. My basic research interests remain in molecular and cellular radiation biology, and are primarily centered on mechanisms of DNA damage recognition and repair as they relate to tumor-associated genomic instability and resistance to therapy. Ultimately, I plan to pursue a physician-scientist career at an academic institution where I can practice radiation oncology, lead an independent basic-translational research laboratory, and teach cancer biology and cancer medicine.
I joined the AACR as an undergraduate student in 2005, and have maintained active membership throughout my medical and graduate school education. I have had the opportunity to participate in several of the AACR Associate Member Council’s sessions on career development over the last 10 years, and feel that AMC-sponsored programming is perhaps the most important benefit of AACR membership for trainees. Having personally benefitted from the efforts of the Associate Member Council, it is an honor to have the opportunity to represent my fellow early-career scientists and advocate for the needs of trainees and early-career scientists in the AACR.