Rachna T. Shroff, MD, MS, a professor of medicine in the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson and chief of the Division of Hematology and Oncology, was named Woman Disruptor of the Year by Healio during the American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting in June where she was also inducted as a fellow by ASCO.
“This is an exciting and humbling honor for me, because the idea of the award is to celebrate women who have enacted change through positive disruption,” said Dr. Shroff, who is also associate dean for clinical and translational research at the College of Medicine – Tucson and associate director of clinical investigations at the UArizona Cancer Center. Her current research focuses on clinical and translational research in pancreatic and hepatobiliary cancers.
“The other nominees in the category were just extraordinary women who I look up to as mentors and role models, so to even be considered in that category was incredible,” she said. “My hope is that the award symbolizes the fact that we are pushing the envelope to open doors for women in ways that have not been historically how we view opportunities for them. This award is just one example how we are celebrating women who are trying to do this.”
Dr. Shroff joined ASCO in 2007 during the first year of her medical oncology fellowship at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. She said being named a fellow of ASCO was a true honor. “ASCO is the largest professional organization and society for oncologists. It has been a part of my career since my training when I was awarded funding to support my research. And then as I’ve grown in my career, the time that I’ve spent volunteering for ASCO has been some of the most meaningful time that I have enjoyed outside of my day-to-day work life,” Dr. Shroff said.
Her recent volunteering roles with the society include helping to formulate clinical care guidelines, serving a three-year term starting in June 2022 on the ASCO Nominating Committee and serving as chair of the upcoming ASCO Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium in January 2024.
“There are many different ways that ASCO interfaces with us as oncologists, and induction as a fellow of ASCO is recognition of how we volunteer and give to the society. But to me, it’s really a bidirectional relationship. It’s just an incredible honor to be able to be part of a community of people who are so committed to such an important organization,” she said.
Founded in 1964, ASCO is the world’s leading professional organization for physicians and oncology professionals caring for people with cancer.
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