Chief of the Division of Women’s Cancers, Director of the Breast Oncology Center, and Thompson Senior Investigator in Breast Cancer Research at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute; Professor, Department of Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Physician, Brigham and Women’s Hospital; and ASCO Board of Directors member
AC: What led you to oncology?
|Dr. Winer from the 2003 Tour of Hope™. | Courtesy of BRISTOL-MYERS SQUIBB
: The challenges and rewards of taking care of patients with cancer and the incredible opportunities that exist to make improvements in cancer care through research. When I was training, oncology was most compelling to me—I was really drawn in.
AC: What’s the last book you read?
: I am currently reading Steve Jobs’ biography by Walter Isaacson.
AC: What’s your favorite website?
: The American Airlines website. I do so much traveling for work, and I’m obsessed with getting the best flights
and the best seats. I occasionally worry that I have taken over George Clooney’s flying strategies in Up in the Air.
AC: Who is the person you most admire?
: I don’t know that there is any single person. I am awed by people who are able to overcome adversity and achieve great works. Stephen Hawking would be high on my list.
AC: What career could you see yourself in if you weren’t an oncologist?
: I studied Russian and Russian History in college, and I thought about life as a college history professor. More recently, I have also wondered what it would be like to be an architect. I am fascinated by space and the ways in which space and design affect function.
AC: What hobbies do you enjoy?
: I cycle and have done so for many years. I don’t race (too much bike-to-bike contact and way too much risk), but do long rides. For the last 14 years, I’ve done the Pan-Massachusetts Challenge, a double century that raises funds for Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. In 2003, I rode in the Tour of Hope™ and went across the country from L.A. to Washington, DC. I ride every weekend I am in town, and I miss it when I don’t. And so far, I keep getting stronger each year that passes.
AC: Do you have a personal motto?
: “Life is not a matter of holding good cards, but of playing a poor hand well,” a quote from Robert Louis Stevenson.
AC: What is your fondest memory?
: If I could bottle how I felt in the 10 minutes after our first son was born and release it slowly for the rest of my life, I’d be a happy guy forever.
AC: What would you say to someone thinking about entering the field of oncology?
: They should do it, but should realize it requires a significant commitment. In clinical oncology, physicians can help patients get through a difficult process. Some patients with cancer emerge even stronger than they were to begin with. Oncology research is on the cusp of phenomenal advances in the next two decades. This is really the golden time to be an oncologist because so much is going to unfold in front of us.