Tarah Ballinger, MD, was named a recipient of the Career Development Award presented by the Conquer Cancer Foundation of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). It was presented at the recent 2019 ASCO Annual Meeting in Chicago.
The Career Development Award provides research funding to clinical investigators as they establish an independent research program. The Career Development grants are awarded to researchers with a focus on patient-oriented clinical or translational research. The award, supported by the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, is a three-year grant totaling $200,000 to support Ballinger’s project, “Good Vibrations: A Novel Mechanical Intervention to Understand and Preserve Musculoskeletal Health in Early Stage Breast Cancer.”
The goal of the project, according to Ballinger, is to evaluate low intensity vibration as a means to mimic the benefits of exercise to the musculoskeletal system, and to deepen our understanding of how common breast cancer medications affect muscular and skeletal health.
Ballinger’s mentors for the research project are Theresa Guise, MD, and Kathy Miller, MD.
Ballinger previously secured funding to study the molecular mechanisms of muscle weakness in breast cancer patients and has opened a clinical trial assessing physical function and physical activity interventions to combat muscle weakness in patients.
Her long-range plan is to continue researching the musculoskeletal complications of breast cancer and its therapies with the ultimate goal of improving the quality of life and treatment outcomes for patients.
Ballinger is an assistant professor of clinical medicine, the Sheila D. Ward Scholar in Oncology, and a member of the Vera Bradley Foundation Center for Breast Cancer Research at IU School of Medicine, and an associate member of the Cancer Prevention and Control research program at the IU Simon Cancer Center.