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Congratulations DSLRF Research Team!

Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation would like to extend heartfelt congratulations to Leah Eshraghi and Amaka Obidegwu, who were recently promoted to research director and research project manager, respectively. I am thrilled to be starting my new role as DSLRF’s director of clinical research. Having worked at DSLRF since March 2010, I am ready for new challenges and responsibilities. My previous position entailed managing our Army of Women program®, which was very rewarding in many ways. I had the pleasure of working with both our Army of Women members and research teams throughout the country that benefited from our support. I will continue to oversee the Army of Women and look forward to working closely with Amaka Obidegwu as she takes on the role of managing the program. We make a great team and I know Amaka has big plans in store! As a long-term member of the DSLRF team, I am passionately dedicated to our mission and will continue to keep it at the forefront of the work we do. Having witnessed the research program’s impressive accomplishments to date, I am happy to take the lead and forge ahead with some very exciting projects. There is a lot of work to be done but the payoffs will be huge! Later this summer, we will begin recruitment for our National Institutes of Health-funded study, Validation Study of the Low-Cost portable CAD Ultrasound System for Breast Cancer Triage in Low and Middle Income Country Environments. This research is testing a study device called the Self Reading Ultrasound device, which is being developed to tell a doctor which breast lumps need to be biopsied and which do not. The device can be used to evaluate breast lumps in communities where the need is the greatest and accessibility to care is a concern. Another exciting project we’re working on this summer is in collaboration with a partner who will provide the data analysis. In this exploratory study, we will use an Automated Whole Breast Ultrasound to collect 3D images in an effort to uncover the normal ductal patterns in lactating women. While most of the anatomy of the human body is well detailed, the breast and the breast ducts remain largely understudied. It is important to gain an understanding of the breast ducts because breast cancer is thought to start in the lining of the breast ducts. We are honored to be collaborating with our partner on this project and look forward to collecting our first round of ultrasound images later this month. With these two studies, our other ongoing projects, and new ones in the pipeline, our research program continues to bring novel ideas to life and I am delighted to be a part of the team. -Leah Eshraghi, Clinical Research Director “Hello! My name is Amaka Obidegwu and I am excited to continue to work for the Foundation in a new role as project research manager. I joined the foundation as project coordinator in the summer of 2013 immediately after completing my Masters of Public Health from the University of Southern California. In this position, I was involved in the planning and implementation of both the Army of Women program and the Health of Women (HOW) Study™. As project research manager, I am now the lead for Army of Women as well as the point person for the HOW Study and our new Research Ambassadors for Community Health (ReACH) program. We started ReACH to take action and address the lack of diversity of participants in research studies. To do this we are collaborating with community members in Los Angeles to focus on increasing awareness and participation in research studies from those in underrepresented communities. Although this program has just started, I am excited to see the impact we can make in the Los Angeles area and ultimately take the program to a national scale. Since launch of the Army of Women in 2008, we have helped recruit for 92 research studies and have had more than 89,000 Army of Women members signed up to participate in those studies. I am eager to continue connecting women and research studies that focus on cause and prevention of breast cancer and strengthen our existing Army of Women community. In the future I plan to facilitate webinars from both the research teams that have asked for Army of Women participation in the past and reach out to more research teams who can benefit from our great member database. With the HOW Study, we have already launched 10 questionnaires and are continuing to brainstorm ways to collaborate with research teams to create more questionnaires and analyze the data. Ultimately, with the growth of our programs we wish to move the needle forward and to keep getting closer to a world where we can successfully say breast cancer is a thing of the past!” – Amaka Obidegwu, Project Research Manager