The Osteosarcoma Institute welcomes Amy Lobner, MPH, CCRC, to the OSI family as its new Scientific Project Manager. Amy brings with her a diverse professional background in program development and fundraising, research grant writing, administering the grant giving program for a health system foundation, managing an academic clinical research program for a rare disease, and health care consulting. She is thrilled to use her vast experience to help bolster OSI’s mission.
We spoke to Amy, who lives in Dallas with her husband and two children, about what ultimately brought her to the OSI and what she hopes to achieve in her new role.
You were all set to go to medical school, but you changed direction. What changed your mind?
Amy: I was one class away from finishing my post-baccalaureate pre-med program when I decided to change directions. I was doing research at Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago, working closely with children in the pediatric gastroenterology department. I fell in love with clinical research and really valued working with patients and their families in clinical trials. It was then that I realized there is so much more than just being a physician in medicine. There are many, many other avenues that you can pursue.
You’ve since worked in a number of fields within healthcare—from clinical research and grant development to pharmaceuticals and academia. What has stayed constant throughout your career?
Working with children—that’s where my passion lies. No matter what role or position I’ve had, I’ve always wanted to make a difference in patients’ lives and offer them hope for better treatment outcomes.
How did you hear about OSI?
In February 2020, my son’s elementary school classmate, Izzy, was diagnosed with osteosarcoma. She was just 10 years old at the time. It was devastating. My kids and I would bake muffins and put together care packages for her while she was in the hospital. That’s around the time we learned about the #TeamIzzy Osteosarcoma Science Fund at OSI.
What inspired you to join OSI?
Watching Izzy battle osteosarcoma, I was so inspired by her family’s dedication to advancing research by creating a science fund to support a breakthrough clinical trial at OSI. Additionally, I had the honor of managing the clinical research program for a rare disease at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. While there, I witnessed firsthand how new and innovative treatment options discovered through foundation/pharmaceutical research collaborations can change survival rates and quality of life for children, where that opportunity previously did not exist. I am committed to seeing this become a reality for osteosarcoma patients as well.
What does your role as scientific project manager entail?
I’ll be supporting and contributing to the activities of the OSI Strategic Advisory Board (SAB) and its scientific committees. The work of these committees is key to making advancements in osteosarcoma science and treatment. I’ll also contribute to fundraising and development efforts. We don’t want to see one more patient have to be told that there are no options. I’m here now to share their stories with donors who have the capacity to support this organization in meaningful ways.
What excites you about OSI’s mission?
Osteosarcoma is a tough disease, but scientists and researchers are on the cusp of new, innovative breakthroughs. That’s what excites me about OSI’s mission and why I believe this institution will be successful: they have the best and brightest experts working with them and OSI will not stop until they find a cure. Everyone is committed to this mission. There are no boundaries.
OSI’s Director, Dr. Lee Helman, said the other day that “Collaboration is better than competition.” Collectively, we have come together for patients like Izzy, to offer them treatment, to bring them more birthdays to celebrate with their families, and to bring them hope.
Knowing that I am working with an incredible organization and team of experts to increase survival rates and ultimately find a cure for osteosarcoma is a career path that is both empowering and fulfilling. I am dedicated to OSI’s goals to remove obstacles, fund advancements, accelerate progress and raise awareness to find a cure for patients with osteosarcoma.
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