PHutures – 100 Alumni Voices »

Brittany Avin McKelvey

“Until you get your feet wet in some capacity, it’s really hard to even be able to grasp what all is out there.”

School of Medicine

Molecular Biology & Genetics, PhD 2020

Director of Regulatory Affairs at Friends of Cancer Research

Brittany‘s Podcast Episode

In this episode, we discuss how Brittany’s childhood battle with cancer inspired her to pursue a PhD in molecular biology and genetics and to pursue a career in cancer research, how Hopkins’s proximity to DC sparked her interest in policy work, and how she used her network and skillset to land a role doing advocacy work in the nonprofit sector at Friends of Cancer Research.

Learn More About Brittany‘s Story

Diagnosed at the age of 13 with thyroid cancer, I became passionate about not only fighting the cancer in my body, but fighting for all those affected by cancer. My experience led me to Hopkins to research thyroid cancer, the disease I was diagnosed with a decade earlier. Due to my cancer, I lost my voice, resulting in permanent vocal cord paralysis. Surgeries helped me regain my voice, and I vowed to use it to impact change.

My experience with childhood cancer led me to advocacy, speaking on the Hill multiple times to support cancer research and policies impacting patients with cancer and survivors. Through advocacy, I saw the impact policy has on shaping the scientific and healthcare landscape, inspiring me to pursue a career in science policy. I am able to leverage my patient advocacy and scientific background to generate scientific evidence and policies to power advances in science, policy, and regulation that speed life-saving oncology treatments to patients.