Professor of Clinical Medicine
Department of Hematology/Oncology
Indiana University School of Medicine
Co-Investigator: Susan E. Clare, MD, PhD, Indiana University School of Medicine
With BCRF support, using normal breast tissue and other specimens, Dr. Storniolo has launched the development of a molecular encyclopedia of the breast, called the Virtual Tissue Bank , to enable a more comprehensive understanding of how breast tissues and cells change molecularly over the course of a woman’s life. Among the risk factors for breast cancer are hereditary gene mutations, and never having been pregnant. Dr. Storniolo will utilize state-of-the-art molecular technology to determine how these risk factors affect normal milk duct cells. Data derived from Indiana University’s tissue bank specimens will be linked to the breast tissue donor’s demographics, medical history, reproductive history, family history, and medication usage. Images of tissue sections and mammograms will also be available on the Virtual Tissue Bank.
The Susan G. Komen Tissue Bank at the IU Simon Cancer Center (KTB) is continuing to develop its molecular encyclopedia of the breast, the Virtual Tissue Bank (VTB). Additional experiment data is being added to the VTB from BCRF-supported research completed (and published) using KTB samples. Data generated by the KTB from tissue collection events, such as H&E images of tissue sections and mammogram images are also being added to the VTB as they are collected. The KTB is working with its VTB development partner at Purdue University to enhance and update the user interface to make the VTB more user friendly to researchers. The KTB is also continuing to enhance the racial and ethnic diversity of its samples by collecting samples in diverse parts of the country and recruiting from communities of color for its collections held in Indianapolis.
Dr. Storniolo is a Professor of Clinical Medicine in the Hematology/Oncology Section at the I.U. School of Medicine. She earned her medical degree at the Stanford University School of Medicine in Palo Alto, California. She then completed her Internal Medicine residency and fellowships in both Hematology and Medical Oncology at the University of Rochester School of Medicine in Rochester, N.Y.
Prior to coming to Indiana University in September 2000, she was an assistant professor of medicine at the University of California-San Diego School of Medicine. She also served in various leadership positions at Eli Lilly and Company (1992-2000), where she was responsible for the clinical development of various cancer drugs, most notably Gemzar.
In addition to treating women with all stages of breast cancer, Dr. Storniolo is director of the Catherine Peachey Breast Cancer Prevention Program. Her research interests include helping to define the process by which a normal breast cell becomes cancerous. That work has led her and some very dedicated co-workers to found the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Tissue Bank at the Indiana University Simon Cancer Center, a biorepository of biologic specimens primarily from women who do NOT have breast cancer. These samples are a source of DNA, RNA and proteins which are invaluable in deciphering the molecular changes leading from normal breast cells to cancer. Elucidating the steps in the malignant process would lead us to finding blood markers that could be used to identify women at risk before they actually develop breast cancer, and would also allow us to develop medicines that would alter that process and prevent cancer from occurring.