Meet Lisa Cadena, Director of Clinical Advocacy and Development for Dune Medical Devices

Lisa Cadena, Director of Clinical Advocacy and Development

Q: How long have you been at Dune Medical and what’s your background?

I just celebrated my 5th anniversary in July!

Going all the way back, I became a pharmaceutical sales rep after college. The company offered tuition reimbursement at that time, and having just worked my way through undergrad, I couldn’t turn down an offer of free education so I went to school in the evening and got my MBA. 

From there I started my medical device career in spine, where I focused for about 5 years, until 2009 when I transitioned to breast cancer and found my calling.

Q: What does a typical day look like for you in your position?

One of the fun things about my job is that NO day is typical. Any given day might include reviewing and presenting the analysis of MarginProbe’s contribution to a surgeon’s outcomes, working with Key Opinion Leaders on presentations, publication initiatives, or commercial efforts, creating messaging around current breast cancer topics, or running a new hire training class. My position is never boring, and I get to have my fingers in everything!

Q: What’s your favorite part of your job? 

The first “save” of a re-excision when a surgeon begins using MarginProbe. It never gets old! As much as I love everything I’m learning and being exposed to in my role, the energy and pace and excitement, whenever I see or hear about a re-excision prevented, it gives me a little pause to consider this particular patient and feel hope that her cancer journey has been made a little less traumatic.

Q: What’s been your proudest/most inspiring moment working with Dune? 

I think my proudest, or most surreal, moment was submitting a recent abstract for consideration at an upcoming breast society meeting, with my name listed as one of the authors. This paper reports on the results of feasibility testing for a really exciting product in our pipeline, and I had the privilege of collaborating with our amazing R&D team in Israel and the physicians who participated in the study, in order to create the finished paper. If it gets accepted, it’s a safe bet I will frame it!

Q: Do you have a personal story related to breast cancer to share?

Because 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer, most of us here at Dune have been touched in some way by this disease, and it feeds our passion for what we do.

I was in my 20’s when “Aunt Ruthie” was diagnosed with breast cancer. Although not related by blood, she was my parents’ dearest friend since childhood, and truly a member of our family. Ruthie’s breast cancer journey included multiple operations, and although she kept her brave smile, it hurt to witness the psychological toll on her of being disfigured by the surgeries. I also saw her struggle with the balance of paying for her care, while fearing the financial burden it would be to her family. Ruthie’s story is a familiar one for so many women, and for their loved ones – those of us who have felt so helpless.

Ruthie passed away in 2007, and I began working in the breast cancer space in 2009. I hope she would be proud of me.

Q: What do you like to do when you’re not at the office? 

Both my husband and I travel for work, so I cherish the down times when our whole family is together, literally no matter what we are doing. Except during football season. Then it’s Ohio State football, and everyone needs to focus, or shush.

Q: Something that might surprise us about you?

I don’t have much of a poker face and am super open, so it is probably hard for me to surprise anyone. But maybe no-one would expect that there is a 100% chance I will cry when faced with the following: The end of Toy Story 3, for every “Golden Buzzer” on America’s Got Talent, for every baptism, and at every wedding. I am trying to stop crying each time my kids blow out their birthday candles because it tends to kill the mood. That’s a work in progress.

At Dune Medical, we are grateful to have such amazing team members who have a passion for what they do and we look forward to sharing more of their stories soon. Be sure to follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook for the latest updates!