Brilliant Minds - Warm Spirits
Meet the remarkable people behind the research
Fort Wayne, Indiana (June 2, 2008) —
Kathy Miller, M.D. | Translational Oncologist
Favorite Hobby: Bungee jumping, “The wetter the better!” Her favorite jump was from the Skippers Canyon Bridge in New Zealand.
Must-Haves: First cup of coffee delivered to her nightstandby her husband and “big hugs and juicy kisses” from her 21-month old son, Kael.
Worst Habit: Hitting the snooze button.
On Her Career Path: “I was completely enthralled by the biology of cancer early in medical school. If you imagine what has to happen: one cell somehow escapes all the elegant, tightly controlled regulation of growth to become immortal. What understanding that process could teach us about life itself is fascinating, and it may well lead us to a cure.”
George Sledge, M.D. | Translational Oncologist
Favorite Ways to Relax: Taking long walks with his wife to talk about her day, and doing yoga, which he has practiced for 36 years.
Guilty Pleasures: Diet Coke, and any food covered in chocolate, grease or sugar.
Favorite Sweets: “The kind you put in your mouth.” His Reputation: By all accounts, this man has rock star status in the world of research science, and among his swooning patients!
On Cancer: “Cancer is like a delinquent teenager.”
On His Patients: “I derive an incredible amount of energy and strength and no little amount of love from my patients. They are heroic, they’re wonderful people and it’s just a real honor for me to take care of them.”
Monet Bowling, M.D. | Breast Surgeon
Secret Passions: Taking several working trips to Kenya every year, and cooking.
Must-Haves: Family, faith and friends…and Enviga Green Tea.
Favorite Indulgence: Her mom’s home-cooked sweet potato pie.
Worst Habit: Driving way too fast!
On Her Heroes: “First and foremost, my mom is my hero. And then…Oprah. Improving the quality of life for women diagnosed with breast cancer and ultimately being a part of finding a cure is foremost in my life, but I also want to be the first member of this incredible team to make the Oprah Winfrey show. So if you’re reading this, Oprah, you want me! Oprah takes every moment to give back. To give and give and give and not ask for anything in return is what makes you a human being and gives your life purpose.”
Susan Clare, M.D., Ph.D. | Translational Oncologist Researcher
Her Passion: Nano-technology.
Hidden Talents: Playing the bassoon and skydiving.
Guilty Pleasures: This self-described news and internet junkie also loves sneaking away to rendezvous with her husband, with whom she has a commuter marriage.
On Cancer: “We all believe we’re going to find a cure for breast cancer. I think a little bit of arrogance and cockiness is a good thing. Otherwise you wouldn’t tackle or wrestle with such a great competitor or great scourge as cancer is. A football team doesn’t go to the Super Bowl thinking, “let’s give it a good try until half time.” They want to win! I would never want to sound arrogant, but psychologically, we have to dream big and have hope, or we’d never go to work in the morning.”
Anna Maria Storniolo, M.D. | Translational Oncologist
Favorite Food: Big home-cooked Italian meals with her husband and children.
Guilty Pleasure: Collecting evening bags.
On Medical School: A daughter of immigrants raised in the Italian community in Milwaukee, she was the first person in her entire extended family to go to college. Neighbors and family thought that her parents were absolutely crazy to send her to college in Boston. She was expected to come to her senses and return home after four years. Thank goodness she never came to her senses!
On Her Colleagues: “I come to work every day and interact with some of my dearest friends—Dr. Sledge, Dr. Clare, Dr. Miller, Dr. Malkas and all of my other colleagues. It is amazing to work with people who are so focused and so truly, truly committed to what we do because we’re all driven by the same passion.”
Brittney-Shea Herbert, Ph.D. | Clinical Researcher
Guilty Pleasures: List making, amateur astronomy and learning new languages—she has five under her belt now.
Her Mantra: “Leave footprints,” a message her father instilled in her at a young age.
On Linda Malkas: “We are twin sisters who were separated at birth…and by a few years,” this younger version of her mentor adds with a giggle. “We were destined to find each other.” Both thought they were bound for a career in space exploration, and both share a passion for science fiction. As it turns out though, Brittney is all about Star Wars and Linda is all about Star Trek!
Proudest Moment: “Seeing the changes, the promise, the hope in my short career has made me proud, but nothing has made me more proud than seeing my mother become a 12-year breast cancer survivor!”
Daniela Matei, M.D. | Translational Oncologist
Favorite Hobby: Writing poetry.
Favorite Foods: Fish and sushi.
On Her Patients: “They all become friends. I have an emotional relationship with every patient, not because I am special—but because my patients open up about their entire life, their family, their children, and everything they value about living when they are faced with a cancer diagnosis. When a woman shares with me in that way, how can I not give a piece of my heart back to her?”
On Her Colleagues: The entire breast cancer team—guys included—gathered for a baby shower for Dr. Miller at Dr. Matei’s home. Between the gifts and the cake and punch, she quietly took Dr. Sledge aside to share a huge breakthrough regarding the role of transglutaminase in metastasis, and the celebration became a double-header. “We are a team in every sense of the word, sharing all the highs and lows that come with trying to beat cancer and in supporting each other,” she shares with a peaceful smile.