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AACR and Komen for the Cure® Honor Breast Cancer Researcher with 2011 Distinguished Lecture

September 15, 2011

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WASHINGTON, D.C. — The American Association for Cancer Research is pleased to announce Olufunmilayo Falusi Olopade, M.D., will present the 2011 AACR Distinguished Lecture on the Science of Cancer Health Disparities, funded by Susan G. Komen for the Cure®.

Olopade is the Walter L. Palmer distinguished service professor of medicine and human genetics, and associate dean for global health at the University of Chicago Medical Center. She is a member of the Komen Scholars scientific advisory panel for Komen. Olopade is honored for her leading work in the study of breast cancer genetics in women.

“We are pleased to recognize Dr. Olopade with this lectureship,” said Margaret Foti, Ph.D., M.D. (h.c.), chief executive officer of the AACR. “Her outstanding research into the genetic underpinnings of breast cancer in African and African-American populations has had a global impact and has led to targeted interventions for women at risk for this disease.”

Founded in 2010, the AACR Distinguished Lecture on the Science of Cancer Health Disparities recognizes an investigator whose novel and significant work has had or may have a far-reaching impact on the etiology, detection, diagnosis, treatment or prevention of cancer health disparities.

“Dr. Olopade is an outstanding scientist whose work and passion bridges the gap between science and society,” said Elizabeth Thompson, president of Susan G. Komen for the Cure. “As a valued member of our Komen Scholars advisory panel, she is always willing to share what she is learning in the lab with the community of people who will benefit. She is determined to end disparities in outcomes for this disease, and we are very pleased with this well-deserved recognition of her work toward that goal.”

Olopade graduated with distinction from the University of Ibadan College of Medicine in Nigeria and completed her residency training in internal medicine at Cook County Hospital where she also served as chief resident. Trained broadly in clinical hematology/oncology and cancer genetics at The University of Chicago, Olopade’s research has focused on understanding familial forms of cancer. Her seminal observations on the genetic basis of breast cancer in young women of African ancestry in the United States and West Africa has broadened the understanding of the complex interactions of genes, lifestyle and the environment in breast cancer causation.

Olopade has received numerous honors and awards, including the American Society of Clinical Oncology Young Investigator Award, the Scholar Award from the James S. McDonnell Foundation, the Doris Duke Distinguished Clinical Scientist Award from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, and the MacArthur Fellowship. She is a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, the American Philosophical Society and the National Cancer Advisory Board. Olopade is a Komen scholar and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Olopade will deliver her lecture, “Closing the Knowledge Disparity Gap: From Molecular Mechanisms to Interventions and Back,” on Sunday, Sept. 18, 2011, during the opening plenary session of the Fourth AACR Conference on The Science of Cancer Health Disparities, held Sept. 18-21 in Washington, D.C.

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About the AACR
The mission of the American Association for Cancer Research is to prevent and cure cancer. Founded in 1907, the AACR is the world’s oldest and largest professional organization dedicated to advancing cancer research. The membership includes 33,000 basic, translational and clinical researchers; health care professionals; and cancer survivors and advocates in the United States and more than 90 other countries. The AACR marshals the full spectrum of expertise from the cancer community to accelerate progress in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer through high-quality scientific and educational programs. It funds innovative, meritorious research grants, research fellowships and career development awards. The AACR Annual Meeting attracts more than 18,000 participants who share the latest discoveries and developments in the field. Special conferences throughout the year present novel data across a wide variety of topics in cancer research, treatment and patient care. The AACR publishes seven major peer-reviewed journals: Cancer Discovery; Cancer Research; Clinical Cancer Research; Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention; Molecular Cancer Therapeutics; Molecular Cancer Research; and Cancer Prevention Research. AACR journals received 20 percent of the total number of citations given to oncology journals in 2010.

About Susan G. Komen for the Cure®
Nancy G. Brinker promised her dying sister, Susan G. Komen, she would do everything in her power to end breast cancer forever. In 1982, that promise became Susan G. Komen for the Cure, which is now the world’s largest breast cancer organization and the largest source of nonprofit funds dedicated to the fight against breast cancer with more than $1.9 billion invested to date. For more information about Susan G. Komen for the Cure, breast health or breast cancer, visit or call 1-877 GO KOMEN.

Media Contact:
Michele Sharp
(267) 646-0622
In Washington, D.C.
Sept. 18-21: (202) 239-4036

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