My clinical and research interests are focused on breast cancer care from prevention, early detection, and treatment to survivorship. My goal is to see all patients at UConn with a breast cancer diagnosis. At UConn Health, my leadership role has been in developing the Clinical and Translational Breast Program. Although the UConn Breast Service was busy, there was no organized structure. My goal in creating the program and continuing as the medical director, was to develop and offer multidisciplinary treatment planning and interventions to patients, with defined oversight and quality control. I established a weekly Multidisciplinary Breast Tumor Board, with the goals of obtaining uniform reporting and oversight of breast pathology and breast imaging. At these meetings we discuss the diagnosis, additional studies needed, multidisciplinary treatment plans, psychosocial issues, and possibilities of investigator initiated and cooperative group clinical trials. Creation of a Breast Cancer Research Group as a venue to integrate research in our patient population was something I created in 2005. As the Breast Cancer Research Group developed and the researchers realized they had an effective voice and a connection to the patient, the group has grown and become more active. The objectives of the Breast Program Research Development Plan are to expand research, provide opportunities for all investigators interested in translational breast cancer research and to achieve collective successes. My previous experience included nine years at the National Institutes of Health as a basic researcher in endothelial cell biology and as a clinician for seven years in a busy private practice in Pasadena, California. This has enabled me to live in both clinical and basic science worlds and operate successfully as a translational scientist. In accordance with that, my pilot grants as well as my participation with other researchers on their pilot and NIH-sponsored grants is key to our success.
I am the assistant program director and key clinical faculty member for the Hematology Oncology Fellowship program. I am involved in regular teaching of fellow trainees on a regular basis. I act as a clinical research mentor for residents, fellows, graduate students, and medical students. Additionally, I run several clinical conferences for the medical students at UConn.
Multiple primarily clinical/translational research projects both investigator initiated and cooperative group studies related to improving outcomes in women with breast cancer. These include but are not limited to: novel imaging studies to diagnose and monitor breast cancer treatment, epidemiologic and laboratory diagnostic studies, treatment studies, bone health studies in the setting of anti-estrogen therapies, chemotherapy induced heart toxicity studies. These are collaborative studies with basic scientists and other clinical and translational researchers.