The Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation and National Medical Fellowships selected Sylvester researcher Kristin E. Rojas, M.D., F.A.C.S., for its inaugural Diversity in Clinical Trials Career Development Program, which includes a two-year, $240,000 grant for her research, “Effects of Perioperative Opioids on Gut Microbiome Composition in Breast Cancer Patients.”
Dr. Rojas, assistant professor of surgical oncology in the Dewitt Daughtry Department of Surgery and Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, is among a distinguished group of physicians selected for the foundation’s initiative to strengthen partnerships between clinical investigators and communities and increase the diversity of patients enrolled in clinical trials.
Dr. Rojas’s research on opioid-sparing strategies in breast cancer surgery has been published in the Annals of Surgical Oncology and other scientific journals.
“This award will give me the resources to take our work to the next step by providing a mechanism in which opioids may worsen cancer outcomes through translational research. The first leg was a proof-of-concept, to show that there are alternatives to opioids in breast cancer surgery; this next step is to show that minimizing or eliminating opioids should be done in breast cancer surgery because it may impact oncologic outcome,” she said.