Group 5B: HER2-low & HER2-negative Breast Cancer; Targeted Therapies

Thursday, June 15
2:00 pm – 3:30 pm Eastern Time (US/New York)

Mentor: Marlena Murphy

In 2018, Marlena Murphy was diagnosed with stage III triple-negative breast cancer. In 2019, as a volunteer patient advocate for My Style Matters, she attended the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium with the very first GRASP poster walkthroughs. Additionally, Marlena serves as a volunteer on the Emory Winship Cancer Institute Patient and Family Advisory (PFA) Council. Because of Marlena’s commitment to advocacy and seeking knowledge beyond the realm of breast cancer, she was offered a position as a Program Manager with GRASP in 2021. Now, she serves as an enthusiastic team member, and coordinates and leads the GRASP Huddles.

Marlena has participated as a DOD Breast Cancer Research Program (BCRP) consumer grant reviewer, and was featured in the 2022 AACR Cancer Disparities Progress Report.  She also works as a Community Advocate for TurningPoint Breast Cancer Rehabilitation. Marlena’s role as a patient advocate was one she did not plan on during her lifetime, yet, she accepted it and decided that her diagnosis would not be in vain. Marlena is a mother to a teenage daughter and enjoys helping others. As a result of her diagnosis and desire to help people, Marlena entered grad school in 2020 and became a Clinical Mental Health Counselor in May 2023. Marlena currently provides therapy for individuals experiencing homelessness and will also provide pro bono therapy for breast cancer patients and survivors.

Twitter: @MarlenaDM

Scientist: Isaac Chan, M.D., Ph.D.

Dr. Isaac Chan is a physician-scientist who is dedicated to eliminating mortality associated with metastatic breast cancer. During his MD/PhD training at University of North Carolina and medical oncology fellowship at Johns Hopkins University, he developed the tools to execute a bench to bedside research vision that probes the relationship between breast cancer metastasis and the tumor environment. His research focuses 1) understanding how metastatic tumor cells can grow in distant organs and 2) discovering novel drug targets that activate a patient’s own immune cells to target metastatic cancer lesions. He chose UT Southwestern to launch his lab because of its strong laboratory-based history and foundation and the innumerable opportunities to apply basic science knowledge to clinical practice. In parallel to his research efforts, he continues to see patients, who inform and inspire his work in the lab. Outside of medicine, his interests include spending time with family and friends, cooking, and reading biographies and books on American history.

Twitter: @ithinkichan