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Dr. Lynn Schuchter

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If medals were given to physicians who battle cancer, Dr. Lynn Schuchter’s white coat would be filled with ribbons and stars. At Penn Medicine, she oversees a $25 million research enterprise with 100 faculty members who treat more than 90,000 patients every year. While cures for many cancers remain elusive, Schuchter is proud of the progress made in the past two decades. “We have more understanding of what malfunctions in the body when cancer occurs,” she says. “There’s also been an explosion of understanding about the immune system and how that can help us treat and eliminate cancer.”

That’s the “big science” end of Schuchter’s job. At the other end is individualized patient care, even for those who won’t survive. “It’s incredibly rewarding to stand alongside a patient as they go through their journey to get well, but also provide support if they are dying,” she says. “It’s an honor and a privilege to be with them in that way.”

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