Claire Verschraegen, MD
Shikha Jain, MD, FACP
Claire Verschraegen, MD, was named the 2019 Woman Oncologist of the Year, and Shikha Jain, MD, FACP, received the 2019 Rising Star award at the first-ever Leadership Empowerment and Development: Enriching Experiences for Women in Hematology and Oncology (LEAD) Conference, hosted by Bio Ascend. An independent medical education company, Bio Ascent is committed to supporting health-care providers in their efforts to translate innovative science into clinical practice.
The conference focused on addressing the challenges women face in the hematology/oncology field and identifying actionable strategies for women to advance into leadership roles. Attendees particularly enjoyed one-on-one mentoring sessions, where they met with conference presenters for more in-depth discussions.
Meet the Award Winners
Dr. Verschraegen is currently Professor of Medicine and Director of the Division of Medical Oncology at The Ohio State University (OSU) College of Medicine; she also holds the prestigious Diane Nye and Michael Rayden Chair in Innovative Cancer Research. Furthermore, Dr. Verschraegen serves as Associate Director for Translational Research at The Ohio State’s Comprehensive Cancer Center. Her positive impact on the field of oncology stems from her training and experience in clinical care and translational research.
Committed to advancing women in medicine, Dr. Verschraegen actively promotes programs to enhance gender equity and parity in promotion and leadership. Under her leadership, the OSU faculty is thriving and consists of more than 60 members, including 18 women. Half of these women have been hired in the 2 years since Dr. Verschraegen joined as Division Director.
Dr. Jain is Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of Hematology, Oncology and Cell Therapy at Rush University Medical Center and Physician Director of Media Relations at the Rush University Cancer Center. Dr. Jain’s clinical focus is gastrointestinal oncology with a special interest in neuroendocrine tumors, and her research interests include gender equity, career advancement for women and underrepresented minorities, and the impact of social media on medicine.
Earlier this year, Dr. Jain was selected as a ResearcHERS ambassador for the American Cancer Society and was honored by 500 Women in Medicine. She is the Co-Founder and Co-Chair of the “Women in Medicine Summit: An Evolution in Empowerment,” a national continuing medical education conference focusing on finding and implementing solutions around gender equality. As an academic, Dr. Jain has produced three abstracts on gender equity accepted for oral and poster presentations at the American Cancer Society conference and two articles for publication in peer-reviewed journals.
Next year’s LEAD Conference will be held on October 2–3, 2020, in Santa Monica, California. For more information, visit leadoncology.com. ■