IU Simon Cancer Center Update - July
Indianapolis, Indiana (August 16, 2012) — Researchers are making discoveries every day at the Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer Research Laboratories at Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center. Meet Linda Han, M.D., director of the center's breast surgery program.
As a surgical resident at The Ohio State University, Linda Han became pregnant with her first son. At the time, no woman had ever completed the grueling five-year training program after giving birth. The program— like many others around the country at the time— didn’t offer maternity leave. After a mere eight days off, she returned to the long hours and nights on call that can exhaust even those who aren’t caring for a newborn.
Today, Linda applies that same can-do attitude and refusal to quit when treating breast cancer patients at the IU Simon Cancer Center. “It’s so rewarding when you can change a person’s life,” she says. “The breast is part of a woman’s psyche and how she sees herself. Breast cancer can have such a huge impact, not just on her, but on her family.”
A native of Seoul, South Korea, Linda immigrated to the United States when she was 6. She grew up in inner city Philadelphia and later moved to Indiana, earning her undergraduate and medical degrees from Indiana University. She worked in private practice in Ohio before joining the IU faculty in October as director of the breast surgical oncology program. Linda reconnected with her alma mater through the cancer center’s healthy breast tissue bank— the only one of its kind in the world. She was so interested in the bank that she drove from Ohio to volunteer at a tissue collection. Later, when approached about leading the breast surgery program, she couldn’t pass up the opportunity. “This is an outstanding place,” she says. “I’m surrounded by international experts in breast cancer, and they’re all great human beings.” She knows the generosity of the Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer is vital to building that environment. “Everywhere you look you see the impact of Vera Bradley.”Vera Bradley Research Update
Each year, thousands of women undergo a mastectomy after being diagnosed with breast cancer. While great strides have been made in breast reconstruction, there is still no ideal method to replace the nipple. IU scientist John Foley, Ph.D., and his lab have discovered a specific type of cell that directs the formation of the nipple. They believe a similar cell from the abdomen of breast cancer patients may be able to “reprogram” ordinary skin to form a new nipple and are researching how to trigger this process.
We thank you!
Drs. Badve, Bowling, Clare, Clemmer, Firulli, Flockhart, Gilley, Grimes, Han, Hattab, He, Herbert, Hutchins, Ivan, Jotwani, Johnson, Konger, Li, Meroueh, Miller, Mina, Nakshatri, Nephew, Novotny, Radovich, Saykin, Schneider, Skaar, Sledge, Slee, Stantz, Storniolo, Tanaka, Vargo-Gogola, Walczak, Wells, Zhang, and Zheng.