Jessica Boklan, MD, Researcher/Scientist
Jessica Boklan, MD, is a highly trained attending pediatric hematologist/oncologist, having studied and practiced at top institutions like Harvard University, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. But Boklan makes her mark in her work outside this role.
Since Boklan was recruited five years ago to build a pediatric oncology research program in Phoenix, she has lived and breathed the mission to bring the latest treatments and therapies to pediatric cancer patients. "It's her life. It's what she exists for," said Nica Clark, a clinical research coordinator who works closely with Boklan.
The breakthroughs that Boklan helps to uncover through her research bring hope, and change the lives of children in Arizona and throughout the country.
Throughout the last 30 years, the survival rate for children affected by cancer has dramatically improved. The single biggest reason for success in the battle against childhood cancer has been the long-standing and widespread participation of childhood cancer patients in clinical trials.
By bringing more national and international clinical trials for children to Phoenix, Boklan has put Phoenix Children's at the forefront of medical breakthroughs in cancer care. She has increased the number of children participating in Phase I studies, which will eventually lead to more rigorous and more rapid evaluation of promising new treatments.
"Dr. Boklan's dedication to her job is what makes Phase I studies available in Phoenix," according to Bob Meyer, Phoenix Children's CEO. "Without her, research as we know it today probably wouldn't exist in the Phoenix area. Patients and families would have to travel hundreds or thousands of miles to have access to the latest effective treatments."