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BCRF Grantee Since


Donor Recognition

The J.C. Penney Award

Area(s) of Focus

Jeffrey N. Weitzel, MD

Director, Clinical Cancer Genetics Program
Professor of Oncology and Population Sciences
Beckman Research Institute, City of Hope
Duarte, California

Current Research

While commercial testing for BRCA mutations has been available in the US for nearly two decades, access to BRCA gene testing and genetic counseling is not available for the majority of Latin American and Mexican families. Dr. Weitzel’s BCRF grant is supporting an international project studying BRCA mutations among Latin American women, while helping these countries create an infrastructure of genetic counseling clinicians, and develop and test low-cost genetic testing tools to apply in their home countries. He and his colleagues have made great progress in training doctors and expanding access to genetic testing in Lima, Peru and Bogota, and Medellin, Colombia, and identified many BRCA carriers among the respective breast cancer populations. They continue to obtain broader representation within Colombia by opening new sites to better reflect the diverse population structures and help address local regional needs. New sites will also be opened in Mexico and Brazil. Identification of women at highest risk for breast cancer allows for limited clinical resources to be focused where they are needed most to detect breast cancer earlier, and prevent the disease.


Jeffrey N. Weitzel, MD is Chief of the Division of Clinical Cancer Genetics and the Cancer Screening & Prevention Program at the City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center in Duarte, California. Dr. Weitzel is Board Certified in clinical genetics and medical oncology, and he is a Professor of Oncology and Population Sciences at the City of Hope. At the vanguard of personalized medicine, Dr. Weitzel’s multidisciplinary clinical, research, and training programs emphasize translational research in genomic cancer risk assessment, chemoprevention, targeted therapy, clinical and psychosocial outcomes, genetic epidemiology and health services research in underserved minorities, and hereditary cancer in Latin America. He is a member of the American Society of Clinical Oncology and the NCCN Genetics/Familial Risk Assessment practice guidelines committee. Dr. Weitzel is the principal investigator for the City of Hope Cancer Genetics Education Program and for the Clinical Cancer Genetics Community Research Network, which are funded by the National Cancer Institute.