Northwestern Events Calendar


Genomic Landscape of Breast Cancer in Diverse Populations - Olufunmilayo I. Olopade, MD, FACP, OON

When: Tuesday, February 5, 2019
3:30 PM - 4:30 PM Central

Where: Robert H Lurie Medical Research Center, Hughes Auditorium, 303 E. Superior, Chicago, IL 60611 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Contact: Michelle Mohney   312.503.5600

Group: Center for Genetic Medicine

Category: Lectures & Meetings


The Center for Genetic Medicine of Northwestern University welcomes you to attend the Richard A. Scott, MD Lecture on Tuesday, February 5, featuring Olufunmilayo (Funmi) I. Olopade, MD, FACP, OON, Walter L. Palmer Distinguished Service Professor of Medicine and Human Genetics; Associate Dean for Global Health; and
Director, Center for Clinical Cancer Genetics, University of Chicago.

Just us remotely via Blue Jeans (Meeting ID: 333 884 696)

Scientific advances have enhanced our understanding of cancer pathogenesis and therapeutic interventions. While these efforts have led to overall improvements in cancer-related health outcomes, disparities across racial/ethnic populations continue to widen. Underrepresented groups frequently demonstrate the highest mortality rates and the shortest windows of survival.

Analysis of cancer genomes has provided fundamental insights into the process of malignant transformation, and analyzing cancer genomes have rapidly become an integral part of the practice of clinical oncology, with implications for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment and prevention. Inherited and sporadic cancers often share common mutational events, and when inherited mutations are identified, genetic counseling is an essential component of care.

Pathogenic BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations are the strongest predictors of breast and ovarian cancer risk in women, and may soon be categorized as the strongest predictors of aggressive prostate cancer risk in men. Waiting to treat advanced cancer with targeted therapies is a failure of primary prevention, and population based strategies for risk assessment and management of healthy high-risk individuals will be needed.

Dr. Olopade will discuss ongoing research in our group to gain a better understanding of the biological basis of cancer’s heterogeneity across genetic and geographic contexts. Dissolving knowledge gaps that contribute to health care disparities will require adequate inclusions of diverse populations in genomic studies.


Olufunmilayo (Funmi) I. Olopade, MD, FACP, OON, a board certified internist and medical oncologist, is the Walter L. Palmer Distinguished Service Professor of Medicine and Human Genetics, Associate Dean of Global Health and Director, Center for Clinical Cancer Genetics at The University of Chicago.

A global leader in cancer genetics, Dr. Olopade seeks to identify those at risk for hereditary breast and ovarian cancer earlier in life, intervene aggressively to reduce risk and preempt disease development, and thereby more effectively control cancer. She studies familial forms of cancers, molecular mechanisms of tumor progression in high-risk individuals as well as genetic and non-genetic factors contributing to tumor progression in diverse populations. Her current laboratory research is focused on using whole genome technologies and bioinformatics to develop innovative approaches to accelerate progress in cancer research and reduce disparities in health outcomes.

Dr. Olopade is an expert in cancer risk assessment and individualized treatment for the most aggressive forms of breast cancer, having developed novel management strategies based on an understanding of the altered genes in individual patients. She stresses comprehensive risk reducing strategies and prevention in high-risk populations, as well as earlier detection through advanced imaging technologies.

Dr. Olopade is an elected member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation, the Association of American Physicians, the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society. She has received numerous honors and awards, including honorary degrees from North Central, Dominican, Bowdoin, and Princeton Universities; MacArthur Foundation Fellowship; Doris Duke Distinguished Clinical Scientist and Exceptional Mentor Award; American Cancer Society Clinical Research Professorship; Officer of the Order of the Niger Award; Franklin D. Roosevelt Freedom from Want Award; and the Villanova Mendel Metal Award. She is an elected member of the Association of American Physicians, National Academy of Medicine, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Philosophical Society, and currently serves on the board of directors for Cancer IQ, Lyric Opera of Chicago, and MacArthur Foundation.

Dr. Olopade earned her medical degree from the University of Ibadan College of Medicine in Nigeria. She trained in Internal Medicine at Cook County Hospital in Chicago and in Oncology, Hematology and Cancer Genetics at the Joint Section of Hematology and Oncology at the University of Chicago.


Richard A. Scott, MD, Lecture Series
The Scott Lecture Series is co-sponsored by Northwestern University's Driskill Graduate Program (DGP) in Life Sciences, part of the Lectures in Life Sciences series.

The Scott Lecture Series was created as an educational platform to appeal to the medical community of Northwestern University. It is funded under the generous bequest of alum Richard A. Scott, MD. After Dr. Scott passed away, his wife and family established the lecture series in honor of Dr. Scott’s lifelong interest in research and learning.

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