Women's History Month Stories

Laurie H. Glimcher, MD

CRI Scientific Advisory Council Member, President and CEO of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Laurie H. Glimcher, MD is the President and CEO of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Director of the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center, and the Richard and Susan Smith Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Glimcher’s research identified key transcriptional regulators of protective immunity and the origin of pathophysiologic immune responses underlying autoimmune, infectious, and malignant diseases. Laurie H. Glimcher, MD, is a long-time member of CRI’s Scientific Advisory Council, leading luminaries in the fields of immunology and cancer immunotherapy.

What are you most proud of in your career?  

I have made some important discoveries of which I am very proud. However, what gives me the greatest pride is reading a scientific or medical journal and seeing a study that was authored by someone I trained. I have spent a lot of time mentoring young women in science and take immense pride in watching them build successful careers and lives.    

What advice do you have for women entering scientific fields?  

To succeed you need to have an enormous amount of self-confidence, be as stubborn as bulls, and be very resilient, especially during difficult times.  
Most importantly, you must enjoy what you do. You must have passion – the kind of passion where you wake up in the morning and you can’t wait to get to work because it’s what you want to do more than anything else. While there will be days when it seems like nothing is working, that sense of passion will give you the strength to keep trying and be willing to take risks. 

Who is a woman/mentor that you admire?  

My mother had a tremendous impact on my life, and I deeply admired her. She was a full-time parent raising three children and always felt very strongly, even many years ago, that my siblings and I all have independent careers. That early encouragement and support made a significant and lasting difference in my life and my career.  

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