Rush University Cancer Center oncologist Shikha Jain, MD, has been named an ambassador for the American Cancer Society's ResearcHERS program — a unique effort to fund women with innovative research ideas and dedication to discovering lifesaving cancer breakthroughs.
"There are so many brilliant minds working together to make advances in oncology,” says Jain, an assistant professor in the Division of Hematology, Oncology and Cell Therapy and physician director of media for the Cancer Center. “The gender of the scientist doing the research should not have a negative impact on the amount of research funding received. By limiting women researchers simply because of their gender, we may be missing out on some incredible discoveries. That needs to change."
The American Cancer Society is a top supporter of women in cancer research. Currently, half of the American Cancer Society’s grantees are women, most of them early in their careers. As the leading nonprofit funder of cancer research in the United States, the program aims to help sustain women-led cancer research, launch new careers, and inspire a new generation of young women considering careers in science. The program also supports women researchers who are ready to move into leadership positions, where they are underrepresented.
“As an oncologist, I see so many patients facing this disease,” Jain says. “I am inspired by my patients and their families on a daily basis. As oncologists and scientists, we are always looking for ways to move the needle in cancer care.”
So far, the program has raised more than $250,000 to support women in cancer research. Donate here.
Jain, who specializes in gastrointestinal and genitourinary oncology, is committed to working toward closing the gender gap across all specialties in medicine. She is co-founder and co-chair of the Women in Medicine Summit, which will take place Sept. 20-21 in Chicago. Its goal is to help attendees create action plans that can be executed at both the local and national level. The summit will empower female faculty at various stages of their careers to develop skills and networks to facilitate success within their own specialties, as well as make positive changes within the health care system. Learn more and register here.