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Helen Gurley Brown (HGB) Presidential Initiative

  • Helen Gurley Brown
    Helen Gurley Brown

    In 2012, longtime Cosmopolitan magazine editor-in-chief Helen Gurley Brown created The Pussycat Foundation — named for her favorite term of endearment — to further her support of the educational and professional advancement of young women and girls, among other initiatives.

    The Pussycat Foundation established the Helen Gurley Brown (HGB) Presidential Initiative at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in 2016, in recognition of the fact that women with established scientific careers can be uniquely sensitive to the challenges facing their younger female colleagues in academic medicine — and that junior women researchers benefit by having women scientists as mentors and role models.

    The Initiative initially funded five pairs of senior women faculty and women fellows for two years, and expanded to include 10 pairs for 2018–2020. The Pussycat Foundation grant provides two years of funding for Helen Fellows' salary, research, and professional development.

    The Initiative also includes:

    • The Helen Gurley Brown Leadership Development Program, which organizes semiannual meetings for Helen Mentors and Helen Fellows to update each other on their work
    • The Helen Gurley Brown Presidential Summit on Women and Science, an annual lecture focused on the career paths of women in science
    • Support for Helen Fellows to attend scientific conferences

    2018-2020 Helen Mentors and Helen Fellows

    Pairing #1: Hematologic Oncology
    Helen Mentor: Irene Ghobrial, MD
    Helen Fellow: Shuai Dong, PhD

    Pairing Pairing #2: Cancer Immunology and Virology
    Helen Mentor: Laurie H. Glimcher, MD
    Helen Fellow: Han Dong, PhD

    Pairing Pairing #3: Pediatric Oncology
    Helen Mentor: Cigall Kadoch, PhD
    Helen Fellow: Veronika Ostapcuk, PhD

    Pairing Pairing #4: Pediatric Oncology
    Helen Mentor: Leslie Kean, MD, PhD
    Helen Fellow: Ulrike (Uli) Gerdemann, MD

    Pairing Pairing #5: Data Sciences
    Helen Mentor: Franziska Michor, PhD
    Helen Fellow: Simona Cristea, PhD

    Pairing Pairing #6: Gastrointestinal Oncology
    Helen Mentor: Kimmie Ng, MD, PhD
    Helen Fellow: Chen Yuan, ScD

    Pairing Pairing #7: Molecular and Cellular Oncology
    Helen Mentor: Kornelia (Nelly) Polyak, MD, PhD
    Helen Fellow: Anne Trinh, PhD

    Pairing Pairing #8: Cancer Biology
    Helen Mentor: Jean Zhao, PhD
    Helen Fellow: Shuang Tang, MD, PhD

    Pairing Pairing #9: Cancer Biology
    Helen Mentor: Rosalind (Roz) Segal, MD, PhD
    Helen Fellow: Grace Hwang, PhD

    Pairing Pairing #10: Psychosocial Oncology and Palliative Care
    Helen Mentor: Alexi Wright, MD, MPH
    Helen Fellow: Hanneke Poort, PhD

    2016-2018 Helen Mentors and Helen Fellows (Inaugural Class)

    Pairing Pairing #1
    Helen Mentor: Jennifer Mack, MD, MPH: Co-Director, Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Fellowship Program; Associate Chief, Population Sciences for Pediatric Hematology/Oncology; Senior Physician, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute; Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School
    Helen Fellow: Maya Ilowite, MD: Clinical Fellow, Pediatric Hematology/Oncology

    Pairing Pairing #2
    Helen Mentor: Rosalind Segal, MD, PhD: Edward J. Benz, Jr., Chair; Co-Chair, Department of Cancer Biology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute; Professor of Neurobiology, Harvard Medical School
    Helen Fellow: Ozge Tasdemir-Yilmaz, PhD: Research Fellow, Cancer Biology

    Pairing Pairing #3
    Helen Mentor: Margaret Shipp, MD: Chief, Division of Hematologic Neoplasia, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute; Director of the Lymphoma Program, Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center; Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School
    Helen Fellow: Zumla Cader, MD, PhD: Research Scholar, Division of Hematologic Neoplasia

    Pairing Pairing #4
    Helen Mentor: Kimberly Stegmaier, MD: Ted Williams Chair; Co-Director of the Pediatric Hematologic Malignancy Program, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute; Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School
    Helen Fellow: Clare Malone, PhD: Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Pediatrics

    Pairing Pairing #5
    Helen Mentor: Sapna Syngal, MD, MPH: Director of Research, Center for Cancer Genetics and Prevention, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute; Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School
    Helen Fellow: Chinedu Ukaegbu, MBBS, MPH: Senior Research Project Manager, Center for Cancer Genetics and Prevention