discoveries magazine

The Cure Seeker

Photograph: Al Cuizon


Heather L. McArthur, MD, Medical Director, Breast Oncology, Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute, Cedars-Sinai breast cancer foe. Global research doyenne, work-life balance agnostic.

Common Condition

One in eight women (and 1 in 1,000 men) will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer in their lifetime. Heather L. McArthur, MD, will not rest until she has pushed her field as close to a cure as humanly—and scientifically—possible. “The potential for impact in breast oncology is tremendous,” she says. “Seeing so many young women being diagnosed stirs me to want to make their outlook better.”

Pioneer Woman

McArthur was the lead investigator on the first research effort to apply immune-boosting strategies with curative intent in breast cancer. Since that endeavor launched in 2011, other investigators have embraced the approach and studies have proliferated. McArthur now leads related clinical trials at Cedars-Sinai that have a global impact.

Training Day

Divide and Conquer

No Off Switch

Work-Life Seesaw

Positive Outlook