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BCRF Grantee Since


Donor Recognition

The Tanger Outlets Award

Area(s) of Focus

Katherine L. Nathanson, MD

Professor, Department of Medicine
Co-Leader, Cancer Control and Prevention Program
Associate, Director for Population Sciences
Chief Oncogenomics Physician
Abramson Cancer Center
Perelman School of Medicine
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Current Research

The focus of Dr. Nathanson’s BRCR research is on understanding the contribution of mutations in multiple genes to breast cancer susceptibility.  While some of her research involves BRCA1 and BRCA2, the most commonly mutated genes in hereditary breast cancer, much of her current work centers on understanding the role of genes other than BRCA1 and BRCA2.  Over the past few years, she and her colleagues, including BCRF grantees Fergus CouchKenneth OffitJames Ford, and Judy Garber, have utilized advanced DNA sequencing technologies to simultaneously assess multiple genes that are associated with increased risk of breast cancer.  In the coming year, they will continue their studies focusing on high risk women (e.g. women with early onset breast cancer, and women with multiple primary cancers including breast cancer) to assess the contribution of different genes to risk of breast cancer and to identify new breast cancer susceptibility genes.


Dr. Nathanson is a cancer geneticist, boarded in Internal Medicine and Clinical Genetics; she runs a research laboratory and has a busy clinical practice. Currently she is an Associate Professor at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, and at the Abramson Cancer Center is the co-Leader of the Cancer Control Program and Chief Oncogenomics Physician. Dr. Nathanson has had extensive experience with molecular genotyping and analysis of genetic variants in relationship to cancer susceptibility and somatic genetics of cancer. She runs a translational research laboratory and has had a long term interest and published extensively on breast cancer genetics on topics including the identification of novel breast cancer susceptibility genes, characterization of cohorts that carry mutations in BRCA1/2 and genetic modifiers of breast cancer penetrance in BRCA1/2 mutation carriers, among others. Dr. Nathanson is a key contributor to the development of a large collection of DNA and tissue samples from high-risk family breast cancer cohorts, participating in several national and international consortium, including the Consortium of Identifiers of Modifiers of BRCA1/2 (CIMBA) and Evidence-based Network for the Interpretation of Germline Mutant Alleles (ENIGMA). She has had a longstanding interest in the identification and characterization of moderate to high penetrance breast cancer susceptibility genes, which is the focus of her BCRF funded project.

If Not For BCRF...

The support that I have received since the beginning of my career from BCRF has been absolutely invaluable, and frankly I would not have made it to this point in my career without it. I cannot put into words the appreciation that I have for your organization and the importance of its support for investigators.