Student Spotlight: Julie Lynch

College of Nursing and Health Sciences | November 01, 2011
Student Spotlight: Julie Lynch

UMass Boston PhD Nursing student Julie Lynch was quoted in an article published in The Oncology Report. The article highlighted a study conducted as part of her dissertation, which shows significant regional differences in access to personalized lung cancer care.  The research was presented at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) annual conference on Cancer Disparities Conference in Washington, DC.  Susan B. Komen funded Julie to attend the conference and present these results.

Julie was also recently invited to be a member of the Ethics Committee in one of the National Cancer Institute’s Clinical Research Groups, the Alliance. She attributes both honors to the mentorship she received as part of the U56/U54 partnership between the College of Nursing and Health Sciences (CNHS) at UMass Boston and Dana Farber/Harvard Cancer Institute (DFCI).

Julie’s U56/U54 mentors included: Dr. Patricia Reid Ponte, DNSc, FAAN RN, CNO at DFCI, and Greer Glazer, PhD, RN, CNP, FAAN who took leadership positions in establishing the role of nursing in addressing cancer disparities. Her research mentors were Dr. Christopher Lathan, Thoracic Oncologist and Director of Equity at DFCI, and Dr. Steve Joffe, Pediatric Hematologist/Oncologist and Ethicist at DFCI. They taught Julie the importance of balancing an enthusiasm for promoting inclusion in clinical research with the complex ethical challenges of enrolling vulnerable patients in experimental protocols. They also helped her understand the difficulties of exploring a research question with a race-based focus and the significant limitations of racial labels.

When asked to remark further on the impact the partnership between the College of Nursing and Health Sciences and DFCI, Julie commented: 

“These experiences and people helped me understand the significant problem of lack of minority inclusion in translational oncology research and in lung tumor tissue banks and analysis.  These mentors have also been active participants in helping me identify solutions to improve the inclusion of tumor tissue from minority patients in translational research studies.  One of the most important components of solving this problem is collaboration between NCI  funded cancer centers and minority serving institutions."

Tags: cnhs , health policy , nursing , phd , population health , research , student spotlight

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