Events & Opportunities

Coffee, Cake & Connecting: Komen Career Catalyst Researchers - Part 2

May 20, 2020 | 7:00 PM - 7:45 PM

A free, three-part online series: May 13, 20 and 27 at 7:00 p.m.
Register now and meet the breast cancer researchers who are making things happen!

Get an inside look at some of the most promising research happening right here in Philadelphia.

After weeks of sheltering in place, we could all use a boost—something to get excited about, something to bring hope back into our lives. This is why we’ve gathered for our survivor and metastatic breast cancer community three local researchers who are making things happen in the labs, right now. As Komen Career Catalyst researchers, these three scientists are young, eager and actively driving “the next big things” that will translate into improved quality of life for you and better outcomes for all future breast cancer patients.

“Zoom” in with us to learn what’s most promising about their work today, what inspired them to pursue their research areas and what they hope to discover next.

May 20: Understanding the molecular mechanisms of brain metastasis
Qing Chen, MD, PhD, The Wistar Institute Cancer Center
Assistant Professor of the Immunology, Microenvironment and Metastasis Program; Scientific Director of the Imaging Facility

May 27: Slowing and stopping metastasis—hitting cancer's food supply where it hurts
Zachary Schug, PhD, The Wistar Institute Cancer Center
Assistant Professor of the Molecular and Cellular Oncogenesis Program

May 13: Harnessing the power of imaging to determine tumor reactions
Elizabeth McDonald, MD, PhD, FSBI, University of Pennsylvania
Assistant Professor of Radiology; Buzz Cooper Scholar at the Abramson Cancer Center
View the video of this session here.

Series Moderator, Meryl Weinreb
Three-time breast cancer survivor; Komen Scholar and Advocate in Science; Komen Philadelphia Education and Public Policy Chair

Register here to join us at no charge for one, two or—best yet—all three parts of this powerful series.

Things to know and do:

  • Please share this email. All members of the survivor and metastatic breast cancer community are welcome to connect with us.
  • Engagements are free and held online via the Zoom platform. Connect via desktop, laptop or smartphone.
  • Once you register, you will receive a link for joining your community for each discussion. Remember to add all three events to your calendar.



Elizabeth McDonald, MD, PhD, FSBI, University of Pennsylvania
Dr. Elizabeth McDonald is an Assistant Professor of Radiology at the University of Pennsylvania and the 2016 American Roentgen Ray Society Scholar. Since 2014, Dr. McDonald has published 35 manuscripts in journals such as JAMA Oncology, Radiology, Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Cancer Research. She is Principal Investigator on four grants including a Komen CCR and Co-Investigator on four R01s. Her research focuses on using imaging to facilitate personalized medicine, leading three early phase human trials for this purpose. She served as Penn Radiology Breast Imaging Fellowship Director from 2014-2016 and is currently on the Breast Cancer Clinical Steering Committee. Learn more.


Qing Chen, M.D., Ph.D., The Wistar Institute Cancer Center, Scientific Director, Imaging Facility
Dr. Qing Chen focuses on the molecular mechanisms of brain metastasis originating from primary tumors like breast cancer, and the interplay between cancer cells and the stromal cells that populate the brain microenvironment. After obtaining her M.D. degree in China, Chen decided to switch her career path from clinical medicine to basic research with a singular goal: to gain a better understanding of cancer biology so we can one day provide effective treatments and perhaps even cures. She came to the United States to pursue her graduate research career at Roswell Park Cancer Institute. After obtaining her Ph.D., she joined the group of Joan Massagué, Ph.D., at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center as a postdoctoral fellow. In October 2015, Chen joined the Tumor Microenvironment and Metastasis Program at the Wistar Institute. Learn more.


Zachary Schug, Ph.D., The Wistar Institute Cancer Center
Dr. Zachary Schug is interested in investigating metabolic adaptation in cancer cells through the use of cell biology, biochemistry, liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS)-based lipidomics and metabolomics. After completing his B.S. in biology from Saint Joseph’s University, Schug continued his studies in Philadelphia and earned a Ph.D. in molecular cell biology from Thomas Jefferson University. In 2008, he began his postdoctoral studies at the Beatson Institute in Glasgow, U.K. Schug joined The Wistar Institute in 2016 as an assistant professor. He also holds adjunct faculty positions in the Department of Systems Pharmacology and Translational Therapeutics at the University of Pennsylvania and the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Drexel University.


Meryl Weinreb, Susan G. Komen
Meryl Weinreb, M.A., is a retired pharmaceutical marketing executive with extensive experience in oncology – both from an industry and personal perspective. As a 3-time breast cancer survivor, Ms. Weinreb is very involved with her local Komen Philadelphia Affiliate, where she served for 7 years on its Executive Board and continues to serve as the Education and Public Policy Chair. Passionate about public policy, she leads public policy initiatives for Komen’s Advocacy Alliance in Pennsylvania and Delaware and currently serves on Komen’s Advocacy Advisory Taskforce. Ms. Weinreb joined Komen’s Advocates-In-Science in 2013, and she has served as a consumer reviewer for many research granting organizations and as a patient advocate on many research projects.

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