026: The Surprising Connection Between Pet & Human Oncology w/ Christine Hardy
For a lot of people unfamiliar with the pet oncology space, it comes as a surprise that pets can develop the exact same strains of cancer that humans do. Perhaps even more surprising however is that in many cases, research into cancer treatment for dogs in particular could be the missing link between mice and humans. At the forefront of this research which has already boasted many breakthroughs into both human and animal treatment, is today’s guest, Dr. Christine Hardy.
Christine has done enough already to fill multiple lifetimes, with masters degrees in both business and public health, she was formerly the Co-Director of the DBM/MBA combined program at CSU, has served as Senior Director of professional veterinary medicine student services at CSU, and is not the Director of Operations and Strategy at the Flint Animal Cancer Center at the CSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital. Oh, and she’s also and entrepreneur, and has worked in human health education as well as international wildlife conservation.
Today she shares her personal story of what led her into cancer research and treatment, the links between animal and human diseases, and how veterinarians and physicians are working together extensively to improve outcomes for both human and animal patients.
In this episode:
- How research into cancer in pets leads to breakthroughs in human cancers
- How vets and physicians are working together to treat and cure cancer
- Why getting rejected from vet school initially was actually a blessing in disguise
- Why deciding to get her MBA was one of the best career decisions she ever made
- How volunteering at cancer camp helps keep Christine grounded
- What we can learn from kids about dealing with cancer
“Most of the things that I’ve done, haven't necessarily been part of the plan. Opportunities just presented themselves or there was a fork in the road and I took it, and it's been an incredible privilege honor and a tremendous amount of fun.” (3:26)
“We’ve asked [pet owners], ‘why do you enroll your pets in a clinical trial?’ for the most part, they all do it for altruistic reasons. They want to do something to contribute to the science. Everybody's been affected by cancer.” (24:20)
“I think a lot of times we don’t necessarily know what other people see in us. He must’ve seen something, I sure knew that it was a great opportunity and that I wasn’t going to let him down.” (41:25)
“To get to veterinary medicine, there’s a path that you have to go down, there are certain things that you have to achieve to get where you’re going, so I think so many of us are really goal-oriented. And I think at some point I’ve learned to actually be ok with not knowing exactly where I’m going and that opportunities will present themselves.” (43:15)