Hi there! During the following weeks, our blog will be dedicated to our SIOP Young Investigator Award winners!
Please meet Dora Gabriela Antunes Correia, YI from Portugal (and the USA!), in her own words.
My name is Dora Correia - or for the children I treat, “Dora, the Explorer”! I am a Portuguese physician-scientist, a radiation oncologist, and a citizen of the world. My experience as a teenager volunteering to entertain pediatric inpatients in Portugal, and a clerkship at a neurological hospital and rehabilitation center for children, adolescents, and young adults (AYA) in Germany, made me aware of how challenging yet rewarding it can be to work with sick children.
Before graduating from Medical School with a master’s degree at the University of Coimbra, Portugal, I have gathered clinical/research exchange experience in Germany (Freiburg i.B. and Jena) and in Japan (Dokkyo and Hiroshima). After working as a resident in Portugal and at the University Hospital of Zürich, I completed my Radiation Oncology residency (as chief resident) and Swiss doctorate at the University Hospital of Bern, where I have practiced as a board-certified radiation oncologist. Here, I mainly worked in the CNS and radiosurgery/stereotactic body radiation therapy team. Gathering experience with proton therapy at the Paul-Scherrer Institute, Switzerland, inspired me to currently do a pediatric proton therapy fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School in Boston, USA, under the sponsorship of the Swiss Cancer Research Foundation.
I am honored that SIOP 2020 awarded our study on prospective patient/parent-reported outcomes of health-related quality of life in childhood cancer survivors treated with proton radiotherapy. Moreover, I am working with Dr. Torunn Yock in the Pediatric Proton/Photon Consortium Registry (PPCR), a consented multi-institutional registry to expedite health-outcomes research and to better define the role of radiation in treating children and AYA with cancer.
Besides volunteering as a science instructor and as the Massachusetts General Postdoc Association Social Networking subcommittee chair, I am grateful to work with other researchers and healthcare professionals who aim to target cancer, optimize care, and like me are willing to unite efforts to reduce healthcare disparities.