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Scroll down this page to explore this interview in several ways.

An Interview Profile summarizes this individual’s role, specialization, and contributions to MD Anderson.

A Table of Contents shows the range of topics covered in each interview session: each chapter title links to a chapter summary.

Chapter Summaries describe the specific topics treated in each section; each summary links to the corresponding recording so you can listen to the chapter.

Here is a link to the full transcript so you may browse and search. (link)

 

 

 

 

Interview Profile

 

Interview Information:

Two interview sessions: 10 November 2014, 17 November 2014
Total approximate duration:  3 hours and 45 minutes

Interviewer: Tacey A. Rosolowski, Ph.D. 

 

For supplementary materials:

Please contact, the Historical Resources Center, Research Medical Library:

Javier Garza, MSIS, jjgarza@mdanderson.org

About the Interview Subject:

Dr. Oliver Bogler (b. 16 July 1966, Bühl, Germany) came to MD Anderson in 2005.  He joined the faculty in the Department of Neurosurgery, serving as the Director of Basic Research in that Department and also in the Brain Tumor Center.  His research has focused on EGFR signaling in glioma and novel platinum compounds.  Since 2010 Dr. Bogler has served as Vice President of Global Academic Programs.  He has also occupied the role of Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs since 2011.

Dr. Bogler provides insight into the workings of all of MD Anderson’s global programs as well as restructuring, first under Dr. John Mendelsohn, then under new president, Dr. Ronald DePinho.  He explains the services that Global Academic Programs offers to sister institutions all over the world and describes how these activities serve MD Anderson’s mission and financial wellbeing.   Dr. Bogler is also a survivor of male breast cancer and speaks about his patient experiences.

Major Topics Covered:

Personal and educational background leading to an international perspective

Research on the molecular and genetic processes that influence cancer in brain cells

Switch from research to administration

[Re-]organization and function of Global Academic Programs [GAP]

How GAP serves MD Anderson’s mission and financial wellbeing

Experiences as a survivor of male breast cancer; roles as an advocate for male breast cancer patients

 

Regarding the Transcript and Audio Files

In accordance with oral history best practices, this transcript was intentionally created to preserve the conversational language of the interview sessions.  (Language has not been edited to conform to written prose).

The interview subject was given the opportunity to review the transcript.  Any requested editorial changes are indicated in brackets [ ], and the audio file has not correspondingly altered. 

Redactions to the transcript and audio files may have been made in response to the interview subject’s request or to eliminate personal health information in compliance with HIPAA.

The views expressed in this interview are solely the perspective of the interview subject. They are not to be interpreted as the official view of any other individual or of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.


Table of Contents

 

Interview Session One: 10 November 2014

 

A Stimulating International Education with a Focus on Science
Chapter 1 / Educational Path

 

 Some Challenges of Boarding School; A Black Sheep Scientist in the Family
Chapter 2 / Educational Path

 

Nationality and Nationalism: An Internationally-Focused Perspective
Chapter 3 / Character, Values, Beliefs, Talents

  

College Provides Exposure to Many Disciplines
Chapter 4 / Educational Path
 

 

Training a Researcher’s Mind; Ph.D. Research
Chapter 5 / Professional Path

  

Coming to MD Anderson to Help Craft a SPORE Grant
Chapter 6 / The Researcher

 

Gaining Experience in Education Leadership at MD Anderson
Chapter 7 / The Administrator

  

Transitioning from Research to Administration
Chapter 8 / Professional Path
 

 

Global Academic Programs: Organization
Chapter 9 / An Institutional Unit

 

MD Anderson’s Global Programs Collaborate to Deliver Support to International Partners
Chapter 10 / Beyond the Institution

  

Global Programs Devoted to Spreading MD Anderson’s Multi-Disciplinary Care Models
Chapter 11 / Institutional Mission and Values

 

Interview Session Two: 17 November 2014

 

Global Academic Programs and other Global Initiatives
Chapter 12 / An Institutional Unit

 

Global Academic Programs: Two Examples of Collaboration
Chapter 13 / An Institutional Unit

 

Global Academic Programs: Activities and Services Offered to Partners
Chapter 14 / An Institutional Unit

 

Global Academic Programs: Building Research Partnerships
Chapter 15 / An Institutional Unit

  

Global Academic Programs: Building Collaborations Using SciVal
Chapter 16 / Building the Institution

 

Global Academic Programs: The Big Picture and New Partnerships in Africa
Chapter 17 / An Institutional Unit

 

Global Academic Programs: Changes Under Dr. Ronald DePinho and The Future
Chapter 18 / An Institutional Unit

 

A Survivor of Male Breast Cancer
Chapter 19 / The Patient

 


Chapter Summaries

 

 

Interview Session One: 10 November 2014 (listen/read)

 

Chapter 00A
Interview Identifier (listen/read)

 

Chapter 01 (Educational Path)
A Stimulating International Education with a Focus on Science (listen/read)

 

Topics Covered

  • Personal Background
  • Character, Values, Beliefs, Talents
  • Inspirations to Practice Science/Medicine
  • Influences from People and Life Experiences
  • Discovery, Creativity and Innovation
  • Cultural/Social Influences

 In this chapter, Dr. Bogler describes the unusual international focus of his early education.  He was born in Germany (and continues to hold German citizenship). He first describes the International School in Frankfurt, Germany, where he received a “U.S.-style” education focused on creativity and individuality.  He notes that he is himself a creative person and exercises this characteristic in administration and the sciences, as well as through such hobbies as painting and photography.

Dr. Bogler next talks about attending a boy’s public school [Oundele School] in Northamptonshire, England at the age of twelve.  He describes the difficulties of adjusting to the new, more rigid school culture after the freedom of an American style education and also discusses his parents’ (Helmut and Helga) reasons for sending him abroad for his education.

Dr. Bogler states that, at age 12, he knew he wanted to be a biologist as he was fascinated by the DNA replication and other cellular mechanisms he was learning about from excellent teachers.  He talks about one influential teacher. 

He then notes that he majored in biochemistry in college and also talks about his habits of visual thinking.  The “inner pictures” that came into his mind as a young person studying molecular mechanisms inspired him.

 

Chapter 02 (Educational Path)
Some Challenges of Boarding School; A Black Sheep Scientist in the Family (listen/read)

 

Topics Covered

  • Personal Background
  • Character, Values, Beliefs, Talents
  • Inspirations to Practice Science/Medicine
  • Influences from People and Life Experiences
  • Cultural/Social Influences   

Dr. Bogler continues his discussion of the difficulties adjusting to the Oundle School.  He also notes the excellent teachers and resources the school offered.  He talks about playing English sports (he “loathed” rugby).

He then talks about his growing abilities in the sciences and mentions a summer botany project he worked on with a professor in Frankfurt.  He then talks about his family background, noting that no one else in the family has been involved in the sciences, calling himself a “black sheep.”  He explains why his family was so open to a son exploring a career path that was unusual in family culture.

He then explains a little about the English system of exams. 

 

Chapter 03 (Character, Values, Beliefs, Talents)
Nationality and Nationalism: An Internationally-Focused Perspective (listen/read)

 

Topics Covered

  • Personal Background
  • Character, Values, Beliefs, Talents
  • Influences from People and Life Experiences
  • Cultural/Social Influences 

In this chapter, Dr. Bogler responds to a question about how his early international experience helped track him to his current position as Vice President of Global Academic Programs. 

Dr. Bogler explains that his observations about differences in German and English attitudes to national identity helped him understand that any individual needs to assume an objective attitude about the characteristics of his/her own nation.  He explains why he has not taken American citizenship despite living in the United States for twenty years.  He then tells a story of struggles he and his wife, Irene Newsham, have had securing German citizenship for their adopted children, Owen and Anna Bogler.   

 

Chapter 04 (Educational Path)
College Provides Exposure to Many Disciplines (listen/read)

 

Topics Covered

  • Personal Background
  • Character, Values, Beliefs, Talents
  • Influences from People and Life Experiences
  • Professional Path
  • Overview
  • Definitions, Explanations, Translations
  • The Researcher

Dr. Bogler talks about the path that took him to Sydney Sussex College, Cambridge University.  He first explains that he took a year off before going to university, working at pharmaceutical companies in Strasbourg, France, and in New Jersey. 

Dr. Bogler notes that he was “completely committed to doing research” when he began college.  He sketches the advantages that a Cambridge education offered, as it exposed him to many disciplines and offered close contact with professors.  He explains why he was “never drawn to medicine.” 

 

Chapter 05 (Professional Path)
Training a Researcher’s MinPh.D. Research (listen/read)

 

Topics Covered

  • The Researcher
  • Professional Path
  • Personal Background
  • Influences from People and Life Experiences
  • Overview
  • Definitions, Explanations, Translations

In this chapter, Dr. Bogler talks about his process of selecting his PhD program. 

First, to explain how his intellect was being trained during college, he explains a college research project for which he studied 2-D proteomic gels, leading to his fascination with cell differentiation.  He notes that this was a cutting edge topic at the time.

Next, Dr. Bogler explains the English system for selecting a PhD program: a student selected a laboratory to work with, not a school.  He ended up at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research in a neuro-laboratory focused on the study of oligodendrocyte precursor cells (’88 – ’91).  Dr. Bogler explains some administrative issues that arose with his degree from this institution.  He also notes that work at this cancer institute did not fire his interest specifically in cancer at this time.

He explains his research, then his move to the Salk Institute for a post-doctoral program (’92 – ’93), noting that he learned a lot of molecular biology.  He explains why some departmental tension held back his research.

Next, Dr. Bogler explains that at the time, the Ludwig Institute was opening new branches, one eventually in San Diego where he did his second post-doctoral fellowship (and also met his wife, Irene Newshaw).  His cancer-focused work began at that time with research on the effects of the p53 gene on astrocytes.

Dr. Bogler also notes that some groundwork for his administrative perspective was established during this time.  He explains that in becoming proficient at bench work, a laboratory researcher also comes to understand that there are limits to the type of work he can accomplish alone.  This drives a researcher to collaboration and established his own commitment to a collaborative perspective. 

 

Chapter 06 (The Researcher)
Coming to MD Anderson to Help Craft a SPORE Grant (listen/read)

 

Topics Covered

  • The Researcher
  • The Administrator
  • Professional Path
  • Joining MD Anderson
  • Understanding the Institution
  • On Research and Researchers
  • Understanding Cancer, the History of Science, Cancer Research
  • Professional Practice
  • Leadership

Dr. Bogler begins by explaining how his PhD and fellowship work set some groundwork for his administrative perspective and focus on collaboration. He then sketches his positions after his post-doctoral fellowships, then talks about the series of events that brought him to MD Anderson.   He comments on opportunities that gave him experience with leadership in the area of education.

Dr. Bogler explains that he was hired primarily to work with Dr. Alfred Yung [Oral History Interview] on coming to MD Anderson to insure that the institution was awarded a SPORE grant, a goal achieved. 

Dr. Bogler notes that he was always collaborative in approach throughout this training and that most researchers are “built that way.”  He describes his leadership style. 

 

Chapter 07 (The Administrator)
Gaining Experience in Education Leadership at MD Anderson (listen/read)

 

Topics Covered

  • The Administrator
  • Professional Path
  • Professional Practice
  • Leadership
  • Research, Care, and Education
  • Education at MD Anderson

 Here Dr. Bogler talks about the series of events that led him to leadership roles in developing educational initiatives at MD Anderson.

Dr. Bogler first describes the Odyssey Program, an internally awarded post-doctoral fellowship for emerging, gifted researchers.  Dr. Bogler explains how he reorganized the Program (in particular its finances).  Next he talks about his work on the Annual Symposium and the Trainee Recognition Day.  He then explains what he learned from these experiences that prepared him to apply for the position of Vice President of Global Academic Programs.

 

Chapter 08 (Professional Path)
Transitioning from Research to Administration (listen/read)

 

Topics Covered

  • Evolution of Career
  • Understanding the Institution
  • Institutional Politics
  • Obstacles, Challenges
  • Professional Values, Ethics, Purpose

In this chapter, Dr. Bogler explains his decision to shift more fully into administration when the opportunity to lead Global Academic Programs  arose in 2010.  He explains that in addition to administrative experience, he had relevant intercultural experience to offer.  He sketches the vision statement he submitted with his application.

He also sketches the situation in the Department of Neuro-surgery that contributed to his decision to shift away from work centered on that Department.  

 

Chapter 09 (An Institutional Unit)
Global Academic Programs: Organization (listen/read)

 

Topics Covered

  • MD Anderson History
  • Institutional Mission and Values
  • Institutional Processes
  • The Business of MD Anderson
  • Education
  • Beyond the Institution
  • The MD Anderson Brand, Reputation

 In this chapter, Dr. Bogler sketches the history of Global Academic Programs (GAP) and its connections with other global initiatives at MD Anderson.

He begins by explaining why education is part of MD Anderson’s mission and how GAP links to this mission.  He notes that GAP began in 2002 to evaluate and manage the many requests to work with the institution.  He notes that GAP was one part of the Center for Global Oncology –also included were the Global Clinical Programs and Global Business Development.  Dr. Bogler says that GAP still partners with these two initiatives, but explains how their reporting structures have been altered.  He now also serves on joint international advisory board he co-chairs with Amy Hay [Oral History Interview], head of Global Business Development.  

 

Chapter 10 (Beyond the Institution)
MD Anderson’s Global Programs Collaborate to Deliver Support to International Partners (listen/read)

 

Topics Covered

  • Beyond the Institution
  • MD Anderson Impact
  • Institutional Processes
  • Institutional Mission and Values
  • The Business of MD Anderson
  • The MD Anderson Brand, Reputation
  • MD Anderson Impact
  • Understanding the Institution
  • The Institution and Finances
  • Research, Care, and Education
  • Global Issues –Cancer, Health, Medicine

Dr. Bogler explains the coordinated functions of Global Academic Programs and Global Business Development, headed by Amy Hayes.  He describes the process involved when a prospective partner contacts MD Anderson and how they receive the support they need to be successful.  He uses the example of the Peruvian institution, Oncasolud, whose most effective support would come from GBD.  Dr. Bogler explains the different relationships that GAP and GBD establish with partners; GAP offers consultative support for no fee to an institution that wants to develop collaborations; GBD offers business development consultancy services for a fee.

Dr. Bogler notes that these programs were established by Dr. John Mendelsohn [Oral History Interview] to respond to specific requests from international institutions. 

Dr. Bogler states that he is “excited about the international possibilities” at this time and that MD Anderson has over seventy years of accumulated knowledge to share with other institutions. 

 

Chapter 11 (Institutional Mission and Values)
Global Programs Devoted to Spreading MD Anderson’s Multi-Disciplinary Care Models (listen/read)

 

Topics Covered

  • Beyond the Institution
  • Multi-disciplinary Approaches
  • MD Anderson Impact
  • Institutional Processes
  • Institutional Mission and Values
  • The Business of MD Anderson
  • The MD Anderson Brand, Reputation
  • Global Issues –Cancer, Health, Medicine
  • This is MD Anderson

Dr. Bogler begins by noting that because the MD Anderson model involves evidence-based, research driven care, MD Anderson also requires that partners include research (clinical trials) in their operations.  The institution also requires that partner provide monthly metrics to track clinical quality.

Dr. Bogler then discusses the challenges of implementing these requirements in domestic versus international partners and the differing expectations of quality that can result.

At the end of this chapter, Dr. Bogler stresses how excited he is about the prospect of bringing MD Anderson’s experience and knowledge to international centers.  He says that the expansion is so much more than a commercial venture.  “We can’t implement programs for free.” 

 

 

Interview Session Two: 17 November 2014 (listen/read)

 

Chapter 00B
Interview Identifier (listen/read)

 

Chapter 12 (An Institutional Unit)
Global Academic Programs and other Global Initiatives (listen/read)

 

Topics Covered

  • MD Anderson Snapshot
  • MD Anderson Impact
  • Institutional Processes
  • Institutional Mission and Values
  • The MD Anderson Brand, Reputation
  • Beyond the Institution
  • Understanding the Institution
  • Global Issues –Cancer, Health, Medicine

In this chapter, Dr. Bogler explains the structure and function of Global Academic Programs.

He explains that GAP was housed administratively in the Center for Global Oncology when he began as Vice President in 2010.  He also sketches the structural changes to this organization as other programs focused on domestic partnerships and were then absorbed in the The Cancer Network.

He stresses that GAP is designed to support the international work of MD Anderson’s faculty.  He sketches distinguishes GAP’s way of operating with that of The Cancer Network.  Dr. Bogler notes that the faculty select the institutions that will become connected to MD Anderson.  He explains that if no strong faculty commitment exists to build the connection, then nothing results. 

 

Chapter 13 (An Institutional Unit)
Global Academic Programs: Two Examples of Collaboration (listen/read)

 

Topics Covered

  • On the Nature of Institutions
  • MD Anderson Impact
  • Institutional Processes
  • Institutional Mission and Values
  • Research, Care, and Education
  • The MD Anderson Brand, Reputation
  • Beyond the Institution
  • Understanding the Institution
  • Understanding Cancer, the History of Science, Cancer Research
  • Global Issues –Cancer, Health, Medicine

Dr. Bogler discusses MD Anderson’s collaboration with two institutions, the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg and the Instituto de Cancerologia – Clinica Las Americas (IDC) in Medellin, Colombia. 

He first characterizes institutional collaborations then talks about the specific support that Global Academic Programs provided these two institutions.  The Instituto de Cancerologia needed help establishing clinical trials for surgical procedures, and Dr. Bogler explains the differences between trials focused on drugs versus surgery.  He also underscores the importance of reciprocal visits between institutions to solidify the relationships and mutual trust.

Next, Dr. Bogler explains the two-phase process an institution must go through to become a sister institution.  He lists the criteria that MD Anderson uses to determine the viability of a prospective partner: program infrastructure, status in the health care environment, research capabilities, the strategic opportunities a partnership would offer MD Anderson, the institution’s capacity for commitment. 

 

Chapter 14 (An Institutional Unit)
Global Academic Programs: Activities and Services Offered to Partners (listen/read)

 

Topics Covered

  • MD Anderson Impact
  • Institutional Processes
  • Research, Care, and Education
  • Institutional Mission and Values
  • The MD Anderson Brand, Reputation
  • Beyond the Institution
  • Understanding the Institution
  • MD Anderson and Government
  • Global Issues –Cancer, Health, Medicine

In this chapter, Dr. Bogler talks about several services GAP offers to bring faculty together with partner institutions. 

He first describes the annual conference that brings faculty and international partners together.  He talks about unique features of the conference.  Then he discusses a conference held in Oslo early in Dr. Ronald DePinho’s presidency: Dr. Bogler explains how it helped demonstrate the “power of the GAP network”. 

Dr. Bogler underscores that Dr. DePinho has a strong vision of international collaboration and translation of research.

Next, Dr. Bogler explains what MD Anderson derives from partnerships. He gives an example of the partnership with the National Cancer Institute of Mexico, which is working on a Federal program of smoking cessation. 

 

Chapter 15 (An Institutional Unit)
Global Academic Programs: Building Research Partnerships (listen/read)

 

Topics Covered

  • The Researcher
  • Contributions
  • MD Anderson Impact
  • Institutional Processes
  • Business of Research
  • Beyond the Institution
  • On Research and Researchers
  • Research, Care, and Education
  • Understanding Cancer, the History of Science, Cancer Research
  • Global Issues –Cancer, Health, Medicine
  • Cultural/Social Influences
  • Patients, Treatment, Survivors

In this chapter, Dr. Bogler explains that he has been able to make major contributions to Global Academic Programs because of his own background in laboratory science.  He talks about building collaborations specifically focused on research.  He also created a new funding system, The Sister Institution Research Fund, with an innovative structure that supports global collaboration with local funding.  He explains how the funding works, then notes that the system was pioneered with the German Cancer Research Center.  Dr. Bogler notes that some projects are connected to the Moon Shots program.

Next Dr. Bogler explains the benefits that MD Anderson derives from such collaborations, specifically an opportunity to research rare cancers or research questions not ordinarily funded by American sources.  MD Anderson also can take advantage of the expertise of researchers trained in other contexts.

Dr. Bogler explains how some of these projects have matured, being awarded NIH grants and yielding prestigious publications.  He explains the criteria the Network uses to select grantees.  He explains that his goal (and the goal of GAP) is to maximize inclusivity of researchers and institutions and to activate partners in all areas of research, not just the cutting edge trends.  He explains that some partners are not in a situation to take advantage of the latest cancer treatments.  He explains why many are very interested in palliative care, for example.  He notes that partners do research in areas that American funding sources tend to ignore –alternative medicine, for example.  He stresses that the range of research at MD Anderson is very broad. 

 

Chapter 16 (Building the Institution)
Global Academic Programs: Building Collaborations Using SciVal (listen/read)

 

Topics Covered

  • Institutional Processes
  • Beyond the Institution
  • Global Issues –Cancer, Health, Medicine
  • Building/Transforming the Institution
  • Multi-disciplinary Approaches
  • Research, Care, and Education

Dr. Bogler first discusses the Research Retreat scheduled shortly after he became Vice President of Global Academic Programs.  He then explains how Collexis –eventually renamed SciVal—helps researchers find collaborators.  Sci-Val has helped GAP build an international database of experts with areas of specialization identified with keywords.  He explains how MD Anderson implemented SciVal and notes that faculty in sister institutions are also listed on a voluntary basis in this very effective system.  (The University of Texas System is adopting it.)  Dr. Bogler notes that SciVal includes many excellent clinical partners.  Discussions are underway to increase the numbers of research partners.

 

Chapter 17 (An Institutional Unit)
Global Academic Programs: The Big Picture and New Partnerships in Africa (listen/read)

 

Topics Covered

  • Institutional Processes
  • Beyond the Institution
  • Global Issues –Cancer, Health, Medicine
  • Building/Transforming the Institution
  • Multi-disciplinary Approaches
  • Research, Care, and Education
  • Understanding the Institution
  • Leadership
  • Institutional Mission and Values
  • The Business of MD Anderson
  • The MD Anderson Brand, Reputation
  • Cultural/Social Influences
  • Global Issues –Cancer, Health, Medicine
  • This is MD Anderson
  • Healing, Hope, and the Promise of Research

Dr. Bogler begins this chapter by explaining the working philosophy of Global Academic Programs:  GAP is part of the MD Anderson infrastructure, a platform where collaborations are facilitated without determine exactly what activities take place. 

He then briefly mentions two institutions in Thailand that will become partners and explains the strategic opportunities they can afford MD Anderson.  He also explains that they put into action Dr. Ronald DePinho’s idea of “lives touched.”

Dr. Bogler next explains that international activities at MD Anderson are integrated through an International Advisory Board.

He goes on to explain that with partnerships, MD Anderson is developing cancer initiatives in Africa, where there was no previous activity.  He explains the “gap” that exists between MD Anderson and African institutions and that he has been long working on the “puzzle” of how to build collaborations.  With the recent development of the African Cancer Network, Dr. Bogler feels the institution can look forward to a strong and active program. 

Dr. Bogler says that “this is the power of MD Anderson—the ability to motivate, concentrate, and focus in a way that’s almost magical.”  

 

Chapter 18 (An Institutional Unit)
Global Academic Programs: Changes Under Dr. Ronald DePinho and The Future (listen/read)

 

Topics Covered

  • Institutional Processes
  • Beyond the Institution
  • Global Issues –Cancer, Health, Medicine
  • Research, Care, and Education
  • Understanding the Institution
  • Leadership
  • Portraits
  • Institutional Mission and Values
  • The Business of MD Anderson
  • The MD Anderson Brand, Reputation
  • Cultural/Social Influences
  • Healing, Hope, and the Promise of Research
  • Patients, Treatment, Survivors
  • Patients

Dr. Bogler begins this chapter by observing that, as a laboratory scientist, he does not have the expertise to fully develop clinical possibilities in Global Academic Programs.  He began to transition out in 2012 when he was diagnosed with cancer and Dr. Kian Ang, who had a clinical focus, led GAP until June of 2013.  He notes that he returned to lead GAP at Dr. Ethan Dimitrovsky’s [Oral History Interview] request.

Dr. Bogler talks about the new expectations Dr. Ronald DePinho brought to GAP once he assumed the presidency of the institution.  He then talks about the Prevention Moon Shot and points out that GAP is serving as a platform to link MD Anderson to partners.  He describes a trip that executive leaders at MD Anderson have made to Lisbon to talk about partnerships.   

Dr. Bogler states that Dr. DePinho has a clear and courageous vision.  He understands concerns that academics might have regarding the short timeline of the Moon Shots Program.  However, speaking as a patient, he says, it’s a profoundly courageous message.

Dr. Bogler then summarizes future directions for GAP.  He mentions the need to develop international clinical trials and his hopes that the Sister Network Research Fund will remain strong.  He notes that the originally academic connection created with the Albert Einstein Hospital in Sao Paolo was transformed into a Business Associate relationship with clinical interactions and an opportunity for co-branding.  He notes that other GAP partnerships could follow suit.

Dr. Bogler ends this chapter with observations about how MD Anderson needs to balance concerns with maintaining its reputation with its mission and need to have strong international impact.  He summarizes what partnerships can mean to MD Anderson. 

 

Chapter 19 (The Patient)
A Survivor of Male Breast Cancer (listen/read)

 

Topics Covered

  • Personal Background
  • The Patient
  • Experiences Related to Gender, Race, Ethnicity
  • Professional Values, Ethics, Purpose
  • Activities Outside Institution
  • Institutional Mission and Values
  • MD Anderson Culture
  • Human Stories
  • Offering Care, Compassion, Help
  • Patients
  • Cancer and Disease
  • This is MD Anderson
  • Formative Experiences
  • Discovery, Creativity and Innovation
  • Patients, Treatment, Survivors
  • Dedication to MD Anderson, to Patients, to Faculty/Staff
  • Personal Reflections, Memories of MD Anderson
  • Patients, Treatment, Survivors
  • Understanding Cancer, the History of Science, Cancer Research
  • The History of Health Care, Patient Care

Dr. Bogler begins this chapter by talking about his surprising diagnosis of stage three male breast cancer in September 2012.  He notes that he delayed being examined for a long time “because I’m a guy” and because he couldn’t believe he’d gotten such an “absurdly rare” disease.  He describes his course of treatment.

Dr. Bogler then talks about how his perspective changed when he began to experience treatment and the institution from the perspective of a patient, noting how “amazing” MD Anderson is and how many individuals are involved in a single patient’s care.  He describes the energy in the patient areas as “sustaining” and communicating a “can-do optimism.”

Next Dr. Bogler talks about the ways in which cancer changed his life, expanding his connections with people with cancer, and giving him a keener sense of his own mortality, since there are no good longevity figures for men with the disease.  He explains that he and his wife take more interesting vacations now. He talks about the effects that the cancer diagnosis had on his marriage.

Dr. Bogler says that “you never quite come to terms with cancer,” which “robs you of your innocence.”  He explains his own anxieties about recurrence, but notes that working at MD Anderson provides a great deal of meaning in his life.  He says his “personal mission” is to support the people who see patients.

Dr. Bogler then discusses work as an advocate for patients with male breast cancer.  He is proud of his current work with photographer, David Jay, on “The Scar Project,” a series of photos of male and female survivors of breast cancer.  He also notes that he is creating visual art as a form of self-therapy.  He says that as a professional in oncology, there are things he cannot say about dealing emotionally with cancer. 

Dr. Bogler talks about David Jay’s exhibition of photographs of cancer survivors at MD Anderson and the impact of seeing these images that gave patients a new presence.  He notes that David Jay’s photo of him appeared in the New York Times (see below).  He talks about his own work on a project called, “Tumor in a Box.” 

Dr. Bogler then discusses his blog, “Entering the World of Pink.”  He explains that he knew he would never “keep this quiet” at a cancer center and wanted to use his disease as an opportunity to raise awareness, since men with breast cancer “stand in the shadow of the world of pink.”  He stresses the need for research on men, then explains the content of his blog, written from the perspective of a scientist about the biology of cancer.  That activity spurred his interest in advocacy for more funding and clinical trials focused on male breast cancer.  He explains several issues around funding and clinical trials, explaining the ethical necessity of including men in breast cancer studies.

Dr. Bogler then explains why he uses social media to get his message out, citing his love of technology and the fact that he is an introvert.  He talks about some memorable responses to his posts on Twitter and Facebook.  He explains that he has been using social media to recruit men for David Jay’s “Scar Project,” saying “there’s some comfort in that.”

Photo by David Jay, from New York Times article,

 “When Men Get Breast Cancer,” 25 February 2014.