NutraWomen Wednesday: Dr. Sabine Hazen, CEO of ProgenaBiome and Ventura Clinical Trials

By Danielle Masterson

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags FMT Gut microbiome nutrawomen wednesday

For many, the gut microbiome is a relatively new term, but for Dr. Sabine Hazan, it’s been her focus for the last 25 years.

Hazan is the CEO of ProgenaBiome and Ventura Clinical Trials, and has been principal investigator and sub investigator in over 150 clinical trials. Many of these trials were for Clostridioides difficile​ infection (CDI). 

At home she goes by “mom” to her two daughters, however at work she has earned the nickname “the queen of C. diff.”

When Hazan’s patients with C. diff did not respond to traditional or clinical trial therapies, she resorted to treatment via fecal microbiota transplant (FMT), which she later trademarked 'refloralization'. 

Hazan got her start at the University of Florida, where she was the first female gastroenterology fellow. 

“It was an interesting time because they only allowed one fellow and you can imagine in a program would you hire a woman that could potentially get pregnant? I couldn't get pregnant so I told my attending [physician] don't worry, I can't get pregnant and sure enough, lo and behold my first year I got pregnant,”​ said Hazan. 

Baby bump and all, Hazan was able to learn how to perform colonoscopies and break the status quo. Eventually Hazan would give birth to her daughter, which ushered in a new set of challenges. 

“It was so challenging because I was married to a cardiology fellow at the same time at University of Florida. And here I am doing my research, being the only fellow of my year that year and having a child. We didn't have any family in Jacksonville, so we had to coordinate child care on call because half the time I was on call with my husband.  As a mom, you know, you kind of get dumped everything. You're supposed to take care of the child and you're taking care of the fellowship and the research and everything.  So I guess it was training for me to become this hurricane that can do a lot of things.”

Down the road, the gastroenterologist had another daughter. Like many second-borns, Hazan admits she wasn’t doted on as much as the first. 

“I was on top of my oldest child and we clashed a lot but the little one I just like, left her because I really started getting involved in all my research. So I'm like, ‘you're on your own’,” ​explained Hazan. “And you know what? She figured it out and somehow, following and watching what I'm doing as a woman in a leadership position, made her a leader. So I think our jobs, as women in leadership, is to really get the next generation to the top and we just don't sit there at the top, we bring in other women.”

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