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Celebrating the achievements of our female clinicians and researchers on International Women's Day

March 8 marks International Women’s Day, and BC Cancer in partnership with the BC Cancer Foundation, is highlighting the important work some of our prestigious female clinicians and researchers are doing to further cancer care across the province. 
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L to R:  Dr. Karen Gelmon, medical oncologist at BC Cancer - Vancouver and Dr. Vanessa Bernstein, medical oncologist at BC Cancer - Victoria. Photos courtesy of BC Cancer Foundation. 

This prominent group excels in their fields of science and medicine. Their unwavering dedication to advancing scientific breakthroughs, to fostering leadership, and academic excellence has garnered accolades and respect from their peers.

Dr. Karen Gelmon, BC Cancer – Vancouver 
Dr. Karen Gelmon is a medical oncologist at BC Cancer – Vancouver, Chair of the UBC/BC Cancer Research Ethics Board, a fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences, and was listed as one of the World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds in 2017. As a researcher, her focus has been on improving outcomes through translational medicine activities to define targets, clinical trials of new and promising drug therapies as well as studies of supportive care. She has helped to make significant progress in understanding risk and responsiveness of cancer treatments. She has also been very active in educational activities for both health care professionals and the public.

Dr. Vanessa Bernstein, BC Cancer – Victoria 
Dr. Vanessa Bernstein is a medical oncologist at BC Cancer – Victoria who specializes in breast cancer and melanoma. She has been integral in the area of clinical trials at the centre, having held principal investigator positions for several national and international clinical trials. She enrolled patients in three clinical trials that eventually changed how oncologists treat breast cancer today. Dr. Bernstein is currently the chair of the BC Cancer Skin Cancer Tumour Group, and is a clinical associate professor of medicine at the University of British Columbia.

Dr. Juanita Crook, BC Cancer – Kelowna 
Dr. Juanita Crook is a radiation oncologist at BC Cancer – Kelowna and is a pioneer in the field of brachytherapy – a specialized type of internal radiation that delivers a more targeted dose, producing fewer side effects. She is known globally as a leading expert in this area, and continues to focus her time on brachytherapy for both prostate and breast cancer. She has seen great success with a new type of treatment for breast cancer, where 75 women are cancer free having had this approach.  

Dr. Jenny Ko, BC Cancer – Abbotsford 
Dr. Jenny Ko is a medical oncologist and director of clinical trials at BC Cancer – Abbotsford. Dr. Ko’s cutting-edge and innovative work in cancer research earned her a Health Professional-Investigator Award from the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research last year. One area of research her team is currently focusing on is exploring if there is a better way to measure a tumour’s response to chemotherapy before surgery.
This distinguished group, and the countless others across the province, continue to pursue excellence in patient care while reducing the burden of cancer.
BC Cancer
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