ASTCT asked Melody Smith, M.D. questions about what it is like to be a woman in the transplantation and cellular therapy field in celebration of Women's History Month, March 2021.
Who inspired you to enter the BMT and cellular therapy field?
I've had a long-standing interest in helping people impacted by cancer. During medical school, I was able to participate in research through ASH as well as the NIH that exposed me to physician-scientist mentors in the BMT and cell therapy field.
How do you inspire others?
I seek out opportunities to participate in mentorship programs and discussions with individuals who are underrepresented in the field of cancer research. I know that my early exposure to healthcare professionals made me realize that a career as a physician-scientist was an achievable goal. I hope to be a similar resource for other young people.
What does it mean to you to be a woman in this field?
The sciences have long been perceived as a male-dominated path. However, through every phase of my educational and professional experience, I have had the opportunity to work alongside brilliant women who both inspire and encourage me. Since women experience unique challenges in medical and scientific environments, it is critical that we continue to uplift one another to achieve equity throughout the profession.