Former DFCI Superstar Returns from Industry to Visit with CURE

February 14, 2024

Last week around a conference room table, about 15 underrepresented early-career researchers/clinicians including some CURE alums, sat with Dr. Levi Garraway and Dr. Shawn Johnson to discuss their own career journeys, the importance of mentoring, and the challenges of science as an underrepresented individual.

Levi Garraway, MD, PhD did his fellowship in oncology at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute before serving as Senior Vice President of Global Oncology for Eli Lilly 2016-2019 and most recently as the Chief Medical Officer for Roche/Genentech.

The event was spearheaded by Karen Burns White and the DF/HCC Initiative to Eliminate Cancer Disparities (IECD) team  and facilitated by Shawn Johnson, MD, a Medical Resident and Program Director at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. During this event, attendees had the opportunity to hear from and converse with Dr. Garraway about the challenges of working in science as an underrepresented researcher. Dr. Johnson engaged Dr. Garraway and the students on their careers, the importance of mentoring – something Dr. Garraway is notably still doing as evidenced by his purposeful attendance at this event – and how it can shape a career and make researchers more resilient to bumps in the road.

The conversation was lively and engaging, and students were excited and enthusiastic to have the opportunity to speak with this superstar of oncology that looks like them, which was not so coincidentally a topic of conversation during this event about representation and role models. Dr. Garraway talked about how lucky he was to have examples in his family of representation in academia and research, and how important it is for young minds to be able to see themselves in these roles.

From all the young scientists that attended and the DF/HCC IECD Team, thank you Dr. Garraway for giving back to the next generation!