Cancer Research Initiative Focuses On Supporting Women Researchers

Mar 11, 2019

A new initiative launched in Indiana will support women-led cancer research.

More women are entering the science field but still struggle to land in leadership positions. The new program from the American Cancer Society in Indiana will raise funds and awareness.  

Jill Geer is the chief marketing officer at the American College of Education and co-chairs the ResearcHERS Indiana effort. She says the effort also aims to inspire young women. 

"Showing women, young women, that women are doing research, women are raising money and women are impacting their communities and that is really important," says Geer. 

Ice Miller managing partner and co-chair Melissa Proffitt Schmidt points to the breast cancer movement as an example of women-led success.

"When women speak our voices can be really loudly heard," says Schmidt. 

Kimberley Blackwell, a vice president at Eli Lilly and co-chair, says women need advancement opportunities and support.  She says this initiative could create that awareness.   

"To think about women as independent cancer researchers and typically independent cancer researchers are those who are more established in their career," says Blackwell. 

Half of the American Cancer Society funded research is led by women.