Leading breast cancer researcher awarded new lectureship

March 20, 2006

Olufunmilayo I. Olopade, M.D., director of the Center for Clinical Cancer Genetics at the University of Chicago Medical Center, is the inaugural recipient of the AACR-Minorities in Cancer Research-Jane Cooke Wright Lectureship. The award is given to an outstanding scientist who has made meritorious contributions to the field of cancer research and who has, through leadership or by example, furthered the advancement of minority investigators in cancer research.

The award, sponsored by AACR-Minorities in Cancer Research, is named in honor of Jane Cooke Wright, M.D., a pioneer in clinical cancer chemotherapy and an exceptional scientist who is African-American and who has made important contributions to research in this field.

Dr. Olopade is being recognized for her pre-eminent research in breast cancer. An international leader in the field, her application of a multidisciplinary laboratory and clinical approach in cancer genetics has led to strategies for prevention and/or early detection in patients at high risk for breast cancer and to the identification of novel BRCA-1 mutations in African-American families with a history of familial breast cancer.

Her discovery of a putative tumor suppressor gene involved in several other solid tumors eventually led to the identification of p16INK4. Dr. Olopade's perspective on the importance of translating research findings to clinical application is consistent with the philosophy of Dr. Wright.

As a physician-scientist, she has mentored numerous fellows and served as role model to many young scientists participating in cancer research. Her enthusiasm and accomplishments have inspired many junior faculty and fellows pursuing careers in academic medicine.

Dr. Olopade received her medical degree with distinction from the University of Ibadan in Nigeria. She came to the United States as a resident in internal medicine at Cook County Hospital in Chicago where she was named Chief Medical Resident. Upon completion of her Hematology/Oncology Fellowship training at the University of Chicago, she was appointed to the faculty in 1991 and rose to the rank of full professor in 2002. Dr. Olopade is the recipient of numerous honors and awards including the Doris Duke Distinguished Clinical Scientist Award and a MacArthur Fellowship "genius" grant.

Dr. Olopade will give a lecture during the AACR 97th Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. The lecture will take place 8:00 a.m., Tuesday, April 4, 2006 in Ballroom A of the Washington Convention Center. In addition to the lectureship, Dr. Olopade will also receive an honorarium and a commemorative plaque.
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Editors Note: To download a high resolution photograph of Dr. Olopade and for further information on this lectureship, please visit www.aacr.org.

The mission of the American Association for Cancer Research is to prevent and cure cancer. Founded in 1907, AACR is the world's oldest and largest professional organization dedicated to advancing cancer research. The membership includes more than 24,000 basic, translational, and clinical researchers; health care professionals; and cancer survivors and advocates in the United States and more than 60 other countries. AACR marshals the full spectrum of expertise from the cancer community to accelerate progress in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer through high-quality scientific and educational programs. It funds innovative, meritorious research grants. The AACR Annual Meeting attracts over 16,000 participants who share the latest discoveries and developments in the field. Special Conferences throughout the year present novel data across a wide variety of topics in cancer research, treatment, and patient care. AACR publishes five major peer-reviewed journals: Cancer Research; Clinical Cancer Research; Molecular Cancer Therapeutics; Molecular Cancer Research; and Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention. Its most recent publication, CR, is a magazine for cancer survivors, patient advocates, their families, physicians, and scientists. It provides a forum for sharing essential, evidence-based information and perspectives on progress in cancer research, survivorship, and advocacy.

American Association for Cancer Research

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