In June of 1999, I began graduate school at Georgetown University in the Tumor Biology program, and I quickly found the lab where I would spend the next five years doing breast cancer research. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to apply for a predoctoral training award from the DoD Breast Cancer Research Program, and I received the award as the principal investigator in 2001. During my time at Georgetown, I benefitted from training in a comprehensive cancer center where I made time each week to attend the Clinical Breast Cancer Conference. Though we were invited, I was one of the few academics who joined the medical, surgical, and radiological oncologists and pathologists as they discussed special or difficult clinical cases. This weekly meeting served as a touchstone, reminding me of the importance of considering the patient's perspective in my own academic research.
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