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Duke Researcher One Of The Most Influential People In America

Kimberly Blackwell
Duke Medical Oncology

Time Magazine comes out with a list of the 100 most influential people each year. Names like Justin Timberlake and Barack Obama made the grade in 2013. But also on the list was Duke oncologist Dr. Kimberly Blackwell.  She was celebrated for her achievements improving chemotherapy treatments for a certain kind of breast cancer.

"It is clearly a representation of not just famous people," she said of the list, adding later, "I think that I as an individual was picked because I represent the progress that the cancer research community has made."

Blackwell and others were able to create an antibody that they can use to target cancer directly without attacking the rest of the human being.

"I along with teams of hundreds of people...worked with this idea of binding the chemotherapy to the antibody, and thus sparing the body."

Blackwell says she was honored by Time Magazine's designation, but wondered whether she truly deserved to be on the list.

“My thought at first was that someone was going to a lot of trouble to try to play a joke on me,” she said. “My kids were impressed by it, at least initially. Though they still don’t get to bed at 8:30 like they’re supposed to.”

Host Frank Stasio talked to Dr. Kimberly Blackwell about being one of the most influential people for 2013.

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Alex Granados joined The State of Things in July 2010. He got his start in radio as an intern for the show in 2005 and loved it so much that after trying his hand as a government reporter, reader liaison, features, copy and editorial page editor at a small newspaper in Manassas, Virginia, he returned to WUNC. Born in Baltimore but raised in Morgantown, West Virginia, Alex moved to Raleigh in time to do third grade twice and adjust to public school after having spent years in the sheltered confines of a Christian elementary education. Alex received a degree in journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He also has a minor in philosophy, which basically means that he used to think he was really smart but realized he wasn’t in time to switch majors. Fishing, reading science fiction, watching crazy movies, writing bad short stories, and shooting pool are some of his favorite things to do. Alex still doesn’t know what he wants to be when he grows up, but he is holding out for astronaut.
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.