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Chan Soon-Shiong Professor of Medicine & Director of the MDS Center at Columbia University

Dr. Azra Raza is the Chan Soon-Shiong Professor of Medicine and Director of the MDS Center at Columbia University. A practicing oncologist seeing 30-40 cancer patients weekly, she also directs a cancer research lab receiving grants totaling >$50 million over the last 10 years. The recipient of three endowed chairs, Raza has collected >60,000 blood and marrow samples from thousands of her patients. She has delivered hundreds of lectures on science, medicine, poetry and literature, and serves as an Editor on the website 3QuarksDaily posting daily for the last 15 years. She met with Vice President Biden to plan the Cancer Moonshot and with President Bill Clinton for 3-day Breakthroughs in Science and Technology Retreat.

Describing her groundbreaking ideas in the highly acclaimed bestselling book, THE FIRST CELL: And the human costs of pursuing cancer to the last, Raza is bent upon shifting the treatment focus from trying to kill every last cancer cell to finding the first and preventing cancer from developing altogether. Raza established cash awards at her alma-mater FG College, Islamabad, 30 years ago for the topmost students in Science, Urdu and Humanities. Raza started Urdu Mehfil in 1987 hosting writers, musicians, poets, politicians, and artists at home. The owner of ~10,000 books in Urdu and English, she co-authored GHALIB: Epistemologies of Elegance with Sara Suleri Goodyear. She jogs 3-5 km every day committing thousands of poetry verses to memory. Her daughter Sheherzad and Raza live in New York

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