Archives     Advertise     Editorial Calendar     Subscribe     Contact Us    


ACS ResearcHERS Program Bringing Awareness to Women in Science


 
Jenny Stripling

More Research Led by Women, More Hope for Cancer Patients

Women are driving forces in the fight against cancer. According to recent data from the American Cancer Society, 50 percent of research funded by the ACS is now conducted by women.

That realization was the motivation behind the organization's newest initiative aimed to promote women in science - ResearcHERS: Women Fighting Cancer. The program engages women of influence to raise funds that directly support women-led cancer research. The program spotlights the life experiences and discoveries of women in research and aims to inspire the next generation of girls to pursue their dreams of a career in science.


Empowering Women

"This campaign burst out of the question, 'Does the ACS have a responsibility to help women support other women?'" explained Jenny Stripling, executive director of the American Cancer Society of Tennessee. "When we realized how much of what we're funding is being done by women, we realized it was a real opportunity for us to highlight and celebrate what's taking place."

Stripling hopes the campaign will encourage more young women to pursue STEM careers, which have traditionally been underrepresented by females. She also wants to encourage young investigators to apply for initial funding and to give them the courage to pursue larger grants from other foundations.

Nashville is one of 15 markets nationwide participating in the ResearcHERS campaign. Currently, the ACS is funding $9.95 million in research within Tennessee, including programs at Vanderbilt and St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis.

"As an organization, we want to put funds where the best science is," Stripling said. ACS ResearcHERS supports all cancer types and ages. The Society has a rigorous peer-review process to fund the most exceptional applications, regardless of cancer type, or gender of the applicant. Once the best research has been identified for funding, ResearcHERS funds will then be applied to women-led grants.

"The individuals working within that realm are making funding decisions based on the best science to move us forward in finding cures for cancer," Stripling said.

ResearcHERS' influential group of ambassadors are committed to raising a minimum of $2,500 each, serving as role models, and building awareness of the contributions of women in the fight against cancer. The campaign will run through May 2019. Stripling hopes more women will take an interest in joining the campaign and will continue to apply for funding through the ACS.

"There's always a place for someone with STEM interests to lean in and support each other and to encourage and help us in promoting this campaign," she said. "Our goal is to raise $125,000 in our first year, and I am thrilled to be carrying the torch for this inaugural ResearcHERS campaign."

ResearcHERS Ambassador Sheila Ridner

An Innovator in Breast Cancer Research

ResearcHERS Ambassador Sheila Ridner, PhD, RN, FAAN, is changing the future of cancer care. A Martha Rivers Ingram Professor and Director of Vanderbilt University School of Nursing's doctorate in nursing science (DNS) program, Ridner is pleased to give back to the organization that has funded more than $1 million in her research since 2006.

"I got into research as a second career because I always said when I got older, I'd do it," said Ridner, a former healthcare executive and oncology nurse. "One day I looked in the mirror and realized it was time."

Ridner who received her doctorate from Vanderbilt in 2003, was a first-semester Vanderbilt PhD student when she wrote - and later received - her first federal grant for breast cancer research. Her focus on lymphedema in breast cancer treatment led to additional funding, partnerships with the ACS and pivotal research studies, including novel studies using expressive writing and yoga as coping tools for lymphedema patients during treatment.

Another current study focuses on the use of a compression device to reduce lymphatic swelling, which is common with head and neck cancers with 90 percent of patients experiencing some swelling as a result of treatment. Although historically more prevalent in men, HPV-associated head and neck cancer is a growing diagnosis among women. Ridner is also leading a massive, multisite international study testing a protocol to prevent lymphedema in breast cancer patients and just presented her interim findings at the American Society for Breast Surgeons meeting on May 3.

"I have a strong commitment to promoting research and want more women involved because there's a shortage of women in science and math professions," she said. "I've received funding from the federal government, various foundations and industries ... but without support of the ACS early in my career, it would have been much harder for me to be successful. They've always stepped up, and because of them, patients are the ones who've been able to benefit from my success."

WEB:

ResearcHERS: Women Fighting Cancer of Tennessee

 
Share:

Related Articles:


Recent Articles

Integrating AI in Healthcare

Technology has advanced to a point where AI in healthcare is increasingly common. Now the challenge is utilizing data in a way that is not only predictive but also prescriptive to improve health and outcomes.

Read More

AMA Advances New Principles to Put AI into Practice

AHIP isn't the only national organization focused on how AI might be effectively deployed to improve patient engagement, care and interaction with the broader healthcare system.

Read More

State of Technology

Nashville HIT leaders address challenges, accomplishments of the region's thriving healthcare IT market.

Read More

Helping Children and Athletes Breathe Easier

Experiencing shortness of breath during exercise can be extremely distressing, particularly when it occurs in a child, teen or young adult.

Read More

PHYSICIAN SPOTLIGHT: Between Medicine and Technology

When it comes to rolling out new systems, Neal Patel, MD, said listening to users and understanding concerns are critical to success.

Read More

Navigating the Risks of New Healthcare Technologies

New technologies in healthcare hold great promise, but with that promise come risks that must be considered and addressed.

Read More

Tech Talk

Recent news of note in Middle Tennessee's health tech sector.

Read More

Enhancing Access to Care through Technology

Innovative technology allows patients, health plans to schedule appointments online.

Read More

Reimaging Residency

A joint project between Vanderbilt and Ole Miss was one of eight selected by the American Medical Association to reimagine residency programming.

Read More

Tips & Traps: Expert Insights from NMGMA Leadership

NMGMA's president and president-elect share insights borne of experience to help practice managers enhance success.

Read More

Email Print
 
 

 

 


Tags:
ACS, ACS Tennessee, American Cancer Society, Cancer Research, Jenny Stripling, Lymphedema, Research Funding, ResearcHERS, Sheila Ridner, Vanderbilt University School of Nursing, VUSN, women's health
Powered by Bondware
News Publishing Software

The browser you are using is outdated!

You may not be getting all you can out of your browsing experience
and may be open to security risks!

Consider upgrading to the latest version of your browser or choose on below: