Chair: Holly Ricker, PA-C
Instructions‐ Please Read Carefully
Dr. Sreenath Shanker received his PhD from Delhi University in India and moved to the United States in 2001 to pursue his postdoctoral studies. His research interests shifted to cancer biology when he moved to the MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, in 2003 as a post-doctoral fellow and subsequently joined St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis as a research specialist. During his tenure at two of the world’s best cancer centers, Dr. Shanker published more than 15 research articles in top scientific journals and presented his work at multiple international conferences. Working at these institutes also gave him the opportunityto volunteerhis time with cancer patients and get an up-close look at their unique needs in their struggle with this devastating disease.
The turning point in his life came when he met a 2-year-old boy Sid, who was battling a brain tumor at St. Jude. The long hours spent with Sid and his family made him realize that caring for patients in their hour of need was his true calling. This motivated him to give up his research career and join the Physician Assistant program at Christian Brothers University, Memphis to learn medicine. During his clinical training, Dr. Shankerfocused on his interest in oncologyby optingfor rotations in hematology- oncology and gynecology-oncology surgery and rounded it off with a much sought-after rotation in stem cell transplantation at the MD Anderson Cancer Center. Dr. Shanker’s experience asa cancer researchergives him a better understanding of the disease process and thusprovide better care to his patients. He strongly believes that an empathetic and knowledgeable provider is the cornerstone of a patient’s battle with cancer. He now aims to learn the art of practicing good medicine and return to make a change in the life of cancer patients.
From a young age, Marsha has had an interest in oncology, which lead to her participation in a Mesothelioma research project at Barbara Karmanos Cancer Institute in Detroit, Michigan, as a sophomore in high school. This exposure, into the field of science and research, only seemed to ignite her curiosities and while completing her Bachelors degree at Oakland University as she focused her attention on potential cancer cell motility targets as a research assistant. Raised by a single parent household, Marsha was the first in her family, both immediate and extended, to pursue a career in science and medicine. She would go on to complete a Masters in Molecular and Integrative Physiology at the University of Michigan, where she investigated the role of Notch Signaling in the onset and progression of pancreatic cancer. Her dedication and drive landed her a seat at Stony Brook University, where Marsha has been an advocate for the future of our profession when she is not immersed in her studies. One of her many long-term goals includes “having the opportunity to conduct meaningful oncologic research, while delivering high-quality healthcare” to her patients. Her connection to oncology is a personal one and she hopes to spend the rest of her life focused on improving the outcomes for her patients as a researcher, clinician, and future educator.