CARG Spotlight: Dr. Ashley Rosko, Mentee to Peer Mentor

This month, CARG shines a spotlight on CARG Buddies, Ashley Rosko, MD and Heidi Klepin, MD, MS. Dr. Rosko is an Associate Professor in the Division of Hematology at The Ohio State University and Medical Director of the Oncogeriatric Program at the James Comprehensive Cancer Center. Dr. Klepin is a Professor at Wake Forest School of Medicine.

Dr. Rosko joined CARG in 2013. She was graduating from her hematology/oncology fellowship at University Hospitals Case Western Reserve and transitioning into a faculty position at The Ohio State University. She had written a clinical protocol on lymphoma in older adults, studied in the lab of Clark Distelhorst on CLL and anti-apoptotic mechanisms, and was getting more interested in both clinical and translational science of aging mechanisms.

Then, Cynthia Owusu introduced her to CARG. At the time, there were just of handful of investigators focused on hematology and so Dr. Rosko and Dr. Klepin were buddied up. When they first matched, Dr. Klepin was excited to share some of her early career experiences as a geriatric oncologist, CARG member, and recent Beeson awardee. The pair scheduled Webex phone calls where the two would talk about clinical research ideas, projects, challenges, and opportunities.

“I feel so lucky to have matched with Ashley as a ‘senior’ Buddy,” said Dr. Klepin. “It became clear very soon, however, that I would learn as much or more from Ashley as she ever would from me. Her passion, intellect, leadership, and vision are inspiring. Ashley has quickly propelled into an international leader in geriatric hematology and onco-geriatric program implementation.”

“Heidi has been incredibly generous with her time, enthusiasm, and overall support of me as an investigator. Heidi always made me feel so welcome and helped me believe in myself,” says Dr. Rosko.

Over the years, they have collaborated on papers, national symposia, and grants while developing a treasured friendship. They support and celebrate each other, look for opportunities to collaborate, and, of course, meet up to socialize whenever they are in the same city!

Dr. Rosko explained, “I call on Heidi for all things, clinical, scientific, and personal. There were certainly times where my phone calls to Heidi were a lifeline to navigate challenges in academics. I have leaned on her expertise and guidance to overcome difficult times. Besides being brilliant, Heidi brings levity and joy to my day.”


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