The season of medical meetings is coming to an end, and not a moment too soon.
For the past few months I have been going from city to city and from conference to conference focusing on one primary goal: making sure scientists get the message that they can try their research in women rather than mice or rats or cell lines and that the Army of Women will help.
It is a hard sell.
As many of you have heard me say, the response is often, Women are too messy! Or, I can control everything about the rats and mice and it is nice pretty science. These statements may be true, but they also underlie the reason that we don’t have more breast cancer breakthroughs. Research in mice doesn’t always translate to women. Women and men get breast cancer. Mice don’t unless we give it to them. This means the research has to be in people, which was why I launched the Army of Women!
But as we’ve seen, the adage, if you build it they will come, does not seem to apply to researchers. That’s why when we attended the American Association for Cancer Research annual meeting in Chicago last month, we gave a panel presentation that included researchers who have worked with the Army of Women so they could explain to their colleagues how the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation has helped them make the transition from mice to women, providing support and assistance every step of the way.
The panel presentation was called Crossing the Chasm from Animal Models to Women. As the first speaker, I discussed the overall vision for the initiative, barriers to research in women and why it is imperative to overcome them, and some of the Army of Women’s success stories. Next up were Dr. Carlos Sonnenschein and Dr. Carla Finkielstein, who discussed their successful transition from research in animal models to research in humans, the progress they have made, and the essential role the Army of Women played in their research.
Dr. Susan E. Clare followed. She discussed the Army of Women’s collaboration with the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Tissue Bank at the Indiana University Simon Cancer Center and the biospecimens it makes available to researchers. The last presenter was Olympia Kalagidis, an Army of Woman volunteer. She discussed her experience participating in three Army of Women research studies, how researchers can use advocates in their research, and why including advocates is important for a project’s success.
I thought you’d enjoy seeing our panel, and you can view the webcast here.
Watching this webcast will make it easy for you to see how the Army of Women is revolutionizing the way research is done! And there is more to come. This summer the Foundation will be launching the Health of Women study a whole new way to do research to find the cause of breast cancer where you, the participants can propose questions, help support the research process, and democratize how research is done!
Want to be a part of the movement to change breast cancer research? Join the Army of Women TODAY!