Newsmaker: Dr. Jean M. Tersak
Noteworthy: The California-based St. Baldrick’s Foundation awarded Tersak a $50,000 grant to support clinical trials of pediatric cancer treatments at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC. Tersak said the money will finance improvements to make a research website at Children’s more effective and user-friendly and help to raise awareness among patients and families who want alternative or additional cancer care. Some of the money will finance a new data management program to improve clinical trials.
Occupation: Tersak is an oncologist in the pediatric hematology and oncology division at Children’s. She is principal investigator of the Children’s Oncology Group and associate director of a fellowship program at the hospital.
Education: Tersak earned a bachelor’s degree in biology in 1986, a master’s degree in physical anthropology in 1989 and a doctoral degree in medicine in 1993, all from the University of Pittsburgh.
Background: Tersak completed a fellowship at Children’s in 1999 and has worked since then at the hospital, serving as an attending physician for about 15 years. She took up pediatric cancer care with the hope of strengthening treatments and making the experience better for children, she said. She grew up in Lawrenceville.
Quote: “By improving public awareness of the trials, it makes it easier not only for families in our region but also families at greater distances to learn and be able to become part of these treatments. It’s all about curing cancer.”