article by Amanda Arrington, MD and Maddie Russo
Dr. Jennifer Erdrich is an assistant professor at the University of Arizona specializing in breast cancers, melanoma, and sarcoma. She joined AAS in 2019. She also provides general surgical oncology services to southern Arizona’s native populations. Dr. Erdrich earned her MD and Master’s in Public Health with a concentration in cancer prevention from Harvard University. She also completed two fellowships: an NCI-funded research fellowship at Harvard and a surgical oncology fellowship at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Throughout her education, she was the recipient of multiple awards for her compassionate and dedicated approach to care, especially of underserved populations, including Stanford’s Samuel L. Kountz Humanitarian Award and John Henry Smith Award.
Dr. Erdrich is of both European American and Native American descent. Personally witnessing disparities in Native American health care, she has developed a passion for serving native communities through research, education, and clinical care. She recently received an award from the National Cancer Institute to conduct research examining the role of nitrous oxide in the tumor microenvironment of triple-negative breast cancer in American Indian patients. This project will also entail developing a collaboratively designed, culturally appropriate community engagement program that enhances knowledge about breast cancer screening, treatment, and the related value of research, with the goal of ultimately increasing breast cancer screening rates among age-eligible tribal members of an American Indian community.