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BCRF Grantee Since


Donor Recognition

The Estée Lauder Companies Brands Award in Memory of Evelyn H. Lauder

Area(s) of Focus

Olufunmilayo (Funmi) I. Olopade, MB, BS, FACP

Service Professor of Genetics & Human Genetics; Director, Cancer Risk Clinic
Associate Dean for Global Health
Walter L. Palmer Distinguished Service Professor of Medicine
University of Chicago
Chicago, Illinois

Current Research

Dr. Olopade is working on two BCRF projects. The first project is focused on identifying patterns in the DNA of women from different ethnic backgrounds that may help to explain genetic differences in breast cancer incidence and outcomes. Triple Negative breast cancer (TNBC) remains a huge clinical challenge and disproportionately affects young women and women of African ancestry.  Advances in our understanding of the human genome (the genes in our DNA) have made it possible to develop new ways to treat TNBC by targeting pathways that are dysregulated in the tumor. Dr. Olopade works within a multi-disciplinary team that includes experts in cancer risk assessment, drug discovery, epidemiology, immunology, statistical genetics and bioinformatics in the US and around the globe, with the goal of developing new drugs for the treatment of TNBC, as well as effective diagnostic tools for personalized risk prediction and novel therapies for personalized cancer medicine in diverse populations of women.

In her second BCRF-supported project, Dr. Olopade is working with a network of investigators in Southwest Nigeria to build local capacity to conduct clinical research in breast cancer.  The project has identified major barriers to breast cancer care in Nigeria, and is working in a variety of ways to address those barriers and improve access to care, as well as the training of local doctors, clinicians and healthcare providers.


Dr. Olopade's research interests are diverse and include: 1) treatment of breast cancer, especially in young or pregnant women, 2) familial cancers; 3) molecular genetics of cancer; 4) cancer risk assessment and chemoprevention; 5) breast cancer and minority populations; 6) disparities in health outcomes. She has maintained externally funded laboratory and clinical research programs in cancer genetics since 1990. Currently, Dr. Olopade is the Principal Investigator on grants from the NIH/NCI, the Falk Medical Research Trust, The Breast Cancer Research Foundation, the Entertainment Industry Foundation, and the Avon Foundation. The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation has recognized her as a Distinguished Clinical Scientist and Exceptional Mentor.

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