Career Development Forum provides opportunity for growth, networking for early-career scientists


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3 minutes
Kate Lathrop, MD
Kate Lathrop, MD

The 2023 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium® has expanded its offerings geared toward early-career scientists with the Career Development Forum, a morning of three concurrent workshops from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday, December 9, at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center. Pre-registration for all Forum events is required during main registration for the Symposium. 

The Forum kicks off with the opening session, Achieving Your Career Goals: Lessons from a Successful Scientist, from 8 to 8:45 a.m. in the Stars at Night Ballroom 1–2. The session will be moderated by Kate Lathrop, MD, UT Health San Antonio MD Anderson Cancer Center, who is also on the 2023 SABCS® Program Planning Committee.

Planning Your First Clinical Trial will be from 9 to 11 a.m. in Room 302. This workshop is for residents, fellows, and early-stage clinical faculty and will feature a 60-minute panel discussion with expert clinical trialists followed by breakout into small groups for peer-to-peer evaluation of a clinical trial concept. Panelists include:

  • Carole Baas, PhD, Advocate, Alamo Breast Cancer Foundation
  • Thomas M. Braun, PhD, Professor, Biostatistics, University of Michigan
  • Dawn L. Hershman, MD, MS, FASCO, Professor, Medicine and Epidemiology, Columbia University Medical Center
  • Ruth M. O’Regan, MD, Professor and Chair of Medicine, University of Rochester
  • Additional panelists to be announced.

The discussion topics will include what to gather before starting to write a trial proposal, funding, access to agents, and building a research team.

“As an early-career clinical scientist, developing your first clinical protocol can feel like trying to push a giant boulder,” said Dr. Lathrop. “It’s hard to figure out where to start or what tools to use. This workshop is designed to help early-career scientists who want to learn practical steps and resources for developing their own clinical research protocols.”

The concurrent workshop Grant Writing Tips and Tricks will be from 9 to 11 a.m. in Room 303. This workshop is for graduate students, fellows, and early-stage faculty and will consist of a 60-minute panel discussion with expert grant writers and reviewers followed by breakout into small groups for peer-to-peer evaluation of a “specific aims” page. Panelists include:

  • David Gius, MD, Associate Director of Mays Cancer Center at UT Health San Antonio MD Anderson Cancer Center
  • Reuben Harris, PhD, Professor and Chair, Department of Biochemistry and Structural Biology, UT Health San Antonio
  • Additional panelists will be announced at a later date.

Panel discussion topics include where to look for funding opportunities, building a mentorship team, identifying key pieces for different types of awards, and the review process. Peer evaluations will include discussion and feedback on introductory statements, overall hypotheses, and independent specific aims.

A session focused on career development for women, Navigating Success: Women’s Career Development, is a dynamic and inclusive event aimed to inspire and support women pursuing careers in scientific research. It is designed for women who have completed their training and are now in practice. The workshop provides a platform for accomplished female scientists to share their experiences, provide mentorship, and discuss strategies to overcome gender-related challenges in the field of cancer research. Through engaging talks, interactive sessions, and networking opportunities, participants gain valuable insights, build a stronger support network, and acquire practical tools to thrive and excel in their scientific research careers. The workshop will be from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. in Room 304, and pre-registration is required.