This month, the Dr. Susan Love Foundation for Breast Cancer Research officially transfers all of Susan’s papers to the The Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America at the Harvard-Radcliffe Institute. Susan and her spouse, Dr. Helen Cooksey, felt Radcliffe was the exact right place because of Susan’s dual roles as the world’s leading breast cancer surgeon, researcher, educator, and advocate, and as a pioneering figure as a gay parent in a same-sex marriage. 

Radcliffe cultivates and celebrates accomplishments made by people who are women. The Schlesinger Library at the Harvard-Radcliffe Institute is home to the nation’s most important collections on feminism, women’s health, and women’s activism. There, Susan’s papers will be in extraordinary company, along with the archives of Helen Keller, Amelia Earhart, Susan B. Anthony, Julia Child, Elizabeth Blackwell, the first woman to earn a medical degree in the US, and many more.

Since Susan died in July of this year, her transformative work has been memorialized and celebrated in countless remembrances – from the New York Times to the Today show.  All of the tributes detail Susan’s remarkable resolve, tireless work, and unrivaled accomplishments in the quest to end breast cancer. The accounts of her life examined and extolled what she did. The archive is a trove of information about how she did it.

Susan was an avid note-taker and early adopter of technology, and many of her lab studies and notes are digitized. She also made hundreds of recordings of meetings from the early days of the Breast Cancer Center at UCLA and throughout her time as chief visionary officer of the Dr. Susan Love Foundation for Breast Cancer Research.

For generations to come, Susan’s studies, strategies, successes, and challenges can be parsed, praised, and even questioned as her papers provide inspiration for the work ahead.

Susan released findings on two major NIH-funded projects this year. She was pleased, but she knew she wasn’t done. In accessing her papers, Susan’s future proteges can peek behind the curtain, and push the work forward.



Love Research Army

We combat the disparities that exist in research by challenging the scientific community to launch studies that are as inclusive and diverse as the people that breast cancer affects.

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