SCOTTSDALE, Ariz., October 16, 2023 – This past weekend, Women Leaders in Oncology® (WLO) presented its “Woman Oncologist of the Year” award to Julie Gralow, MD, FACP, FASCO, Chief Medical Officer and Executive Vice President of the American Society of Clinical Oncology® (ASCO). WLO also presented its “2023 Rising Star” award to Jaydira Del Rivero, MD, Physician Scientist in the Developmental Therapeutics Branch of the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The presentation occurred in Scottsdale, Arizona during the fifth annual LEAD conference, which strives to empower women leaders in the fields of hematology and oncology by providing essential clinical updates, career development, and professional networking.
“While women are becoming more prevalent within the field of oncology, a gender imbalance persists at the leadership level,” said Deanna B. van Gestel, Founder and CEO of Vaniam Group and WLO. “Women are less likely to be lead authors on peer-reviewed publications, principal investigators in clinical trials, or keynote speakers at industry conferences. Dr. Gralow is a true leader in this field, distinguished not only by her work to advance breast cancer research, but also to promote greater equity across cancer care. Similarly, Dr. Del Rivero is an outstanding physician-scientist who has demonstrated exceptional resilience and dedication throughout her career, overcoming multiple obstacles to become the first in her family to complete medical school. She will surely continue to make important contributions to the field, while serving as an inspiration to other women considering careers in oncology. We congratulate them both.”
LEAD is a conference designed for women in oncology and hematology. The goal of this conference is to empower women leaders in the hematology and oncology space by providing essential clinical updates, career development, and professional networking. Sessions include discussions on the importance of women’s leadership, career development workshops, and clinical sessions on biomarkers and oncology therapies. At each year’s LEAD conference, WLO presents the LEAD awards. Past recipients of the Woman Oncologist of the Year award include Christine Chung, MD (2022), Pamela Kunz, MD (2021), Reshma Jagsi, MD, DPhil (2020), and Claire Verschraegen, MD (2019). Past recipients of the Rising Star award include Carolyn Presley, MD, MH (2022), Ana Velázquez Mañana, MD (2021), Narjust Duma, MD (2020), and Shikha Jain, MD, FACP (2019).
Julie Gralow, MD, FACP, FASCO
Dr. Gralow is the Chief Medical Officer and Executive Vice President of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). She serves as a public spokesperson and expert commenter for ASCO, and an ambassador to ASCO members and cancer organizations across the United States and worldwide. Dr. Gralow is a breast medical oncologist and Professor (emeritus) at the University of Washington (UW) School of Medicine, where she served >25 years on faculty as Director of Breast Medical Oncology, founding member of the UW Breast Cancer Equity Initiative, and Medical Director for Women’s Cancer-related Population Health. She also served as an adjunct professor in the University of Washington’s Department of Global Health, as a faculty member of the UW’s Ellison Center for Russian, East Europe and Central Asian studies, and as an advisory council member for the Uganda Cancer Institute’s adult Hematology/Oncology Fellowship Training Program. She is a recognized leader in breast cancer clinical research, and is the former Executive Officer for Breast and Lung Cancer and Vice Chair of the Breast Cancer Committee for the SWOG Cancer Clinical Trials Network. Dr. Gralow is committed to improving the quality of life for patients with cancer, and is co-Founder of Team Survivor Northwest, a non-profit aimed at helping female cancer survivors improve their health through fitness and exercise. She is also strongly committed to advancing equity in cancer care. As founder of the Women’s Empowerment Cancer Advocacy Network (WE CAN), she supports patient advocates in low- and middle-resource countries. Dr. Gralow received the ASCO Humanitarian Award in 2018 for her work in empowering women cancer patients and survivors globally. Dr. Gralow received her bachelor’s degree from Stanford University and her medical degree from the University of Southern California School of Medicine. She trained in internal medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital at Harvard Medical School and completed a medical oncology fellowship at University of Washington/Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle.
Jaydira Del Rivero, MD
Dr. Del Rivero is a Physician Scientist in the Developmental Therapeutics Branch of the National Cancer Institute (NCI). She is the Principal Investigator of the Natural History Study for Neuroendocrine Neoplasm and Adrenocortical Cancer to provide the basis of further development of therapeutic interventions, prevention/screening guidelines, endpoints for future clinical trials and the PI of various treatment studies for neuroendocrine neoplasms. Dr. Del Rivero earned her medical degree from the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Veracruz in Veracruz, Mexico. She then completed her internal medicine residency at Woodhull Medical and Mental Health Center/New York University (NYU)-Langone Medical Center in Brooklyn. Following residency, she completed a fellowship in endocrinology at the Inter-Institute Endocrinology Training Program (IETP) at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), and the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) where she was part of a research team developing clinical trials for pheochromocytoma and paraganglioma. Dr. Del Rivero then joined as Assistant Professor at the Montefiore Einstein Center for Cancer Care (MECCC) focusing on the management of all endocrine tumors, such as advanced gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine tumors, adrenocortical cancer, pheochromocytoma/paraganglioma and other endocrine malignancies. She subsequently completed a second fellowship in oncology at the National Cancer Institute. Dr. Del Rivero is board certified in Internal Medicine, Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism and Oncology and her current efforts is the development of novel treatment approaches and targeted therapies for endocrine malignancies such as advanced gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine tumors, adrenocortical cancer and pheochromocytoma/paraganglioma.
About Women Leaders in Oncology (WLO)
Created in 2014 by Ms. van Gestel, WLO is focused on growing a community and fostering meaningful connections for women in oncology drug development, clinical research, and medical practice. WLO facilitates networking, mentorship, and research funding for women across oncology at all levels, along with sponsorship opportunities that enable corporations to exceed their Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) goals in a measurable and impactful way.