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BCRF Grantee Since


Donor Recognition

The Golub Award

Andrea Richardson, MD, PhD

Associate Professor, Department of Pathology
Harvard Medical School
Director, Breast Tissue Bank
Brigham and Women's Hospital
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Boston, Massachusetts

Current Research

Drs. Richardson, Iglehart and Wang are part of an interdisciplinary collaborative group which includes other BCRF investigators, focused on the genetics of triple negative breast cancer (TNBC). Their collective work led to the identification of a number of different tumor biomarkers that can predict whether a woman’s tumor will respond to a drug called cisplatin, which belongs to a class of drugs referred to as DNA damaging agents. These biomarkers can be measured by doing different types of genomic testing of a woman’s breast cancer tissue. The research team recently discovered that high levels of a gene called BLM enhances the tumor killing effect of cisplatin and in the coming year they will work to understand how BLM is affecting cisplatin response. In addition, the researchers recently found that the number of mutations in a tumor is predictive of survival in women with ovarian cancer: the higher the number of mutations, the better the cancer responds to cisplatin treatment and the longer the woman survives. They will now test to see whether the same may be true for women with breast cancer. These studies will lead to a better understanding of the mutational processes that promote to cancer development and how the burden of mutation may predict for patient outcomes.


Dr. Andrea L. Richardson is an Associate Professor of Pathology at Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School in Boston, where she maintains an active clinical practice on the breast pathology consultation service. Her research focus is breast cancer genetics and pathobiology. She is actively engaged in translational breast cancer research, frequently with multi-disciplinary teams. She established and directs the breast tissue repository at Brigham and Women's Hospital and has extensive experience in tissue-based molecular assays. Her laboratory research has focused on characterizing the molecular aberrations in subtypes of breast cancer important for pathogenesis, tumor progression, and tumor response to therapy.