The 2016 recipients of the Brinker Awards for Scientific Distinction will be recognized for their vital contributions to research today at the prestigious 39th annual San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium (SABCS). Charles Perou, Ph.D. and Monica Morrow, M.D., FACS, will both deliver keynote lectures during the symposium, and will be honored at a reception this evening.
Established by Komen in 1992, the Brinker Awards for Scientific Distinction recognize the efforts of pioneers in two critically important areas of the fight to end breast cancer: Clinical Research and Basic Science. This year’s winners join the ranks of an esteemed group of scientists who have been recognized for advancing breast cancer research and medicine with the Brinker Awards – the highest scientific honor awarded by Susan G. Komen, the world’s leading breast cancer organization.
The 2016 Brinker Award for Scientific Distinction in Basic Science will be presented to Dr. Perou, the May Goldman Shaw Distinguished Professor of Molecular Oncology and Professor of Genetics and Pathology & Laboratory Medicine at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine and co-program leader of the breast cancer research program and member of the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center. Dr. Perou’s work has helped to characterize the diversity of breast tumors, demonstrating that breast cancers can be classified into at least five molecular subtypes. His work also led to the discovery of the basal-like/triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) subtype. Further, he and his colleagues were among the first to discover that the breast cancer subtypes were of prognostic and predictive value, and to associate specific genetic mutations with specific breast cancer subtypes.
Dr. Morrow, chief of the Breast Surgery Service and Anne Burnett Windfohr Chair of Clinical Oncology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and Professor of Surgery at Weill Cornell Medical College, will receive the Brinker Award for Scientific Distinction in Clinical Research. Dr. Morrow has been a champion of the idea that “more is not necessarily better” when it comes to breast cancer treatments, devoting her career to advancing clinical practice and empowering women to make treatment decisions. She was instrumental in showing that sentinel lymph node dissection is an effective and safe alternative to complete (axillary) lymph node dissection for many women with early metastatic breast cancer.
More than 60 other Komen representatives including Scientific Advisory Board members, Komen Scholars and grantees will join Dr. Perou, Dr. Morrow and thousands of other leading physicians and researchers from around the globe at SABCS, contributing to discussions around experimental biology, etiology, prevention, diagnosis and therapy of breast cancer.
Advancing breast cancer research has been a priority for Komen since opening its doors in 1982. To date, Komen has invested more than $920 million in breast cancer research, and is the largest nonprofit funder of breast cancer research outside of the U.S. government, currently funding nearly 300 research grants worldwide.