Group 6A: HER2+ Pan-Cancers; Clinical Trials; Novel Targets & Therapies
Thursday, June 15 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm Eastern Time (US/New York)
Mentor: Christine Hodgdon, M.S.
Christine Hodgdon was a conservation biologist before her metastatic breast cancer (MBC) diagnosis in April 2015. Her advocacy career began when she launched TheStormRiders.org, an educational resource for MBC patients that includes a searchable clinical trial database. She later co-founded GRASP – Guiding Researchers & Advocates to Scientific Partnerships which empowers patients, clinicians, and researchers to exchange ideas and learn from each other. She is the research working group co-lead of the MBC Alliance and spearheads the Breast Cancer Brain Metastasis (BCBM) Initiative: Marina Kaplan Project with the goal to address the unmet research needs of breast cancer patients living with central nervous system (CNS) metastasis. She was also a founding committee member of MBCBrainMets.org, a resource hub for breast cancer patients living with brain metastasis. She is the Johns Hopkins Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center patient advocate representative for the Translational Breast Cancer Research Consortium (TBCRC) and she co-leads the Hopkins INSPIRE (Influencing Science through Patient-Informed Research & Education) Advocacy Program. Her advocacy work is inspired and driven by the loss of many friends to MBC.
Scientist: Sailajah Gukathasan, Ph.D.
Sailajah Gukathasan is currently working in chemical proteomics at Weerapana Lab, Chemistry Department at Boston College, under Prof. Eranthie Weerapana as a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow after successfully completing her Doctoral degree. Her doctoral work mainly focused on the unique niche of developing gold-based reagents for specific protein modulation under the guidance of Prof. Samuel Awuah at the University of Kentucky. In addition to that, she worked with developing gold(III) scaffolds for enhanced anticancer activity. She is originally from the idyllic city of Jaffna in Sri Lanka and graduated Honors with a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry and Zoology. She left her position as a government official in Sri Lanka to realize her true passion for contributing to society through science, better achieved by devoting her time to research and completing graduate school. Taking her first step towards her goal, she moved to the US in 2015 for a Master’s degree from Tennessee Technological University.