National Cancer Institute Honors Dr. Marguerite Raaen With A Scientific Achievement Merit Award

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At the NCI’s ceremony in 2005, Dr. Marguerite Raaen was honored with a Scientific Achievement Merit Award for her central contribution to the NCI's first Integration / Implementation (I2) of a cancer imaging repository, and her scientific leadership in developing a suite of enterprise-wide imaging initiatives that support NCI Director Dr. Andrew von Eschenbach's goal to cure cancer by 2015. The unique aspect of this award to Dr. Raaen is that it is normally given for medical or pharmaceutical breakthroughs. Her award for computer science breakthroughs recognized the very significant leadership and technology accomplishments in architecting the system, programming the functions, and negotiating the kinds of agreements required for this shared data repository across 60 US cancer research centers. This national radiological repository for storing clinical data will enable more researchers to contribute and utilize the latest in national cancer research.

Since the National Cancer Act was passed by Congress in 1971, making cancer research a national priority, National Cancer Institute (NCI) employee efforts have led to significant progress in cancer detection, diagnosis, prevention, and treatment. Each year at the NCI Director’s Award Ceremony, several individuals are recognized for their outstanding contributions that aid in the continued advancement of this progress.

At the NCI’s ceremony in 2005, Dr. Marguerite Raaen was honored with a Scientific Achievement Merit Award for her central contribution to the NCI's first Integration / Implementation (I2) of a cancer imaging repository, and her scientific leadership in developing a suite of enterprise-wide imaging initiatives that support NCI Director Dr. Andrew von Eschenbach's goal to cure cancer by 2015. The unique aspect of this award to Dr. Raaen is that it is normally given for medical or pharmaceutical breakthroughs. Her award for computer science breakthroughs recognized the very significant leadership and technology accomplishments in architecting the system, programming the functions, and negotiating the kinds of agreements required for this shared data repository across 60 US cancer research centers. This national radiological repository for storing clinical data will enable more researchers to contribute and utilize the latest in national cancer research.

Dr. Raaen joined NCI in March of 2004. She was a member of the Bioinformatics Division at NCI working in the areas of clinical trials, genomics, and joint projects with the FDA (US Food and Drug Administration), PHRMA (Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America) and SAFE (Secure Access for Everyone). Her responsibilities included developing national repositories for clinical trial data capture, analysis and validation. Dr. Raaen worked with private sector organizations to improve data standards and data communication for clinical research which are funded by government and Pharmaceutical companies. As a computer scientist working with healthcare professionals, her goal was to make storing, retrieving and sharing data ubiquitous across the world, which could ultimately reduce the time for developing new approaches to treatment and the potential for a cure.

“Dr. Raaen had a critical role in the development of this program,” said Beverly Meadows, PhD, MS, RN, at the Division of Cancer Prevention at NCI. “Her understanding of both the scientific and technological requirements for this project enabled her to pull together the experts and organizations needed to ensure that all of the different aspects of this project were addressed. Dr. Raaen established a framework for the team to keep them focused on the end goal. It was a pleasure working with her.”

Dr. Raaen attributes the NCI repository funding commitment to the robust initial prototype shown to Dr. Von Eschenbach. For the rapid development cycle of the radiology repository prototype, Dr. Raaen would like to credit the diligence and innovation of a special group of individuals who, like herself, saw the ultimate good that a national repository would provide. The creative work and long nights of this dedicated team were the hallmark of excellence. Dr. Raaen credits the work of the following members of the team for quickly developing a prototype for the project and the final production application: Ajay Gupta, John Freymann and Sharon Settneck from SAIC; John Perry, from the Radiology Society of North America (RSNA); Bill Britton, Al Woods, Gavin Brennan, Wei Lu, and Craig Fee of TerpSys; Beverly Meadows from the Division of Cancer Prevention and George Redmond from the Cancer Therapy Evaluation Program. These were the dedicated few that made this prototype come together in light speed and followed next with the national production environment.

The vision and leadership of Dr. Dan Sullivan, Director of the Cancer Imaging Program (CIP) at NCI along with his key staff members, Dr. Carl Jaffe, Dr. Larry Clarke, Dr. Gary Becker and Dr. Gary Dorfman, were critical at securing funding for future development and increasing the scope of this project nationally -- all pending on the prototype winning the senior NCI managements’ hearts and minds. Dr. Buetow, of caBIG and Sue Dubman, former Applications Director for the National Cancer Institute's Center for Bioinformatics donated Dr. Raaen’s time and energy for 70 to 80 hours a week from their budgets to promote the teamwork for this project which reached across organizational boundaries.

Throughout her 20-year distinguished career, Dr. Raaen has demonstrated a dedication to helping improve computer science through standards and new technology. Dr. Raaen has achieved an impressive executive career record of breakthrough results at Fortune 100 firms, startups and now the Federal Government. Most recently, she has been the Chief Technology Officer and Principal Deputy CIO for U.S. Department of Education and a scientific appointee at NCI. Dr. Raaen held positions as e-COO of Cable & Wireless; Internet Technology Executive at IBM, reporting directly to the President and General Manager of ibm.com, a 10,000 person sales, service and technology acquisitions IBM division; and Senior Vice President of Technology Alliances and Business Development at Chase Manhattan Bank /Intelisys Electronic Commerce in New York City.

Dr. Raaen has been recognized throughout her career with awards and commendations. While at IBM, she was awarded the IBM Distinguished Accomplishment Award (1999); she was granted a US Patent 6,424,997 B1 for artificial intelligence technology (1999); named the IBM Software Executive of the Year (1993); presented with the IBM Corporate Strategy Award (1992) and accorded the Chairman's Eagle Award for the “Top Sales Employee of the Year” in 1990. Her dedication and accomplishment were similarly confirmed while she was at Cable and Wireless, PLC, where she was elected Chairwoman of the Global IT Steering Committee to restructure CW sales to launch their new Internet sales channel in 14 countries. She received U.S. Congressional recognition as one of top five US Executives for "Best Practices for Corporate Employee Programs and IT Development Processes" (2002).

Dr. Raaen is also a scientific advisor to Catalyst Advisors where she is an advisor to technology start up companies. She is on the board of directors of HireNetworks, a U.S.-based outsourcing company located in Raleigh, North Carolina. Dr. Raaen is also a director on the board of the Junior Engineering Technical Society in Alexandria, Virginia. She has contributed chapters to several published books about the benefits of outsourcing technology and key new trends, (e.g. Happy About™ Outsourcing: Positive Impact Stories from Executives Who Have Offshored and Outsourced")

Dr. Raaen attended Georgia State University where she was a honor student. She received all 3 of her degrees from this prestigious inner city institution that caters to working adults wanting to further their education. She credits Dr. Morris Roberts, her computer science PhD. advisor, and Dr. Sam Dietz, her psychology department chair, with her many accomplishments.

For more information: Marguerite Raaen.

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