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Joshi featured as Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium member of the month

Dr. Monika Joshi, associate professor of medicine at Penn State College of Medicine and medical oncologist at Penn State Cancer Institute, is featured for the June 2021 Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium (CRC) member of the month.

Joshi has been a part of the Big Ten CRC since 2014. In January 2021, Joshi was named chief scientific officer of the Big Ten CRC. She is serving a three-year, renewable term. Her pathway to a leadership role in the Big Ten CRC began by attending meetings, joining the genitourinary working group, of which she is now a co-chair, and taking advantage of the collaborative environment the consortium offers.

“The Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium helped me take my research ideas to the next level,” Joshi said. “I have received excellent expert opinions from my colleagues that enhanced my trial, improved recruitment and helped me overcome hurdles.”

Joshi believes that it is important for early- and mid-career investigators to be involved in the Big Ten CRC. Access to study populations, assistance with protocol development, shared expertise from disease teams and a supportive administrative team are just a few of the benefits the consortium provides to investigators.

The most recent example of this collaboration was the completion of a clinical trial, Durvalumab and Radiation Therapy Followed by Adjuvant Durvalumab in Patients With Urothelial Cancer (T2-4 N0-2 M0) of the Bladder, also called DUART, that included six institutions from the Big Ten CRC. Joshi presented the results of this trial at the 2021 Genitourinary Cancers Symposium from the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

When she is not working, you can find her reading a book, listening to music or watching her son play soccer at their favorite park in Hershey. Joshi said she always finds two hours in her day for “me” time. She insists that work-life balance is critical, especially for female physicians, who she believes face higher expectations.

However, Joshi says her work isn’t so much a job as a calling. “Research is my passion,” she said. “If you are a young investigator thinking about research, make sure you can see yourself enjoying this for many years.”

Learn more about the Big Ten CRC

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