Both aspirational and inspirational, the mission of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF) is straightforward— to achieve prevention and a cure for breast cancer in our lifetime. “We have one clear and simple focus: research,” said BCRF President Myra Biblowit. “Research is what saves lives and research is the only way to eradicate breast cancer.”
Established in 1993 by Evelyn Lauder, BCRF currently funds the research of 197 scientists worldwide. “Our research grants program is distinguished by its emphasis on creativity, intellectual freedom and focus on using the best people, ideas and tools of science to conquer a major disease,” said BCRF Scientific Director Larry Norton.
Five UNC investigators rank among the prestigious cadre of researchers funded by the BCRF, which gives more than $1 million annually to UNC Lineberger for a variety of projects. This support is enabling Dr. Hy Muss to explore how a gene associated with aging relates to the development of treatment complications.
Building on research previously funded by the BCRF, Dr. Lisa Carey is investigating the benefit of the current gene expression array classification system that defines different subtypes of breast cancer. In a related project, Dr. Chuck Perou is using new genetic classification data to build even better statistical models that may more accurately predict breast cancer patient outcomes and response to therapy.
The BCRF is also supporting a project led by UNC Lineberger Director Dr. Shelley Earp aimed at improving breast cancer vaccine strategies. “We are truly appreciative of the BCRF’s great work and their support of UNC Lineberger over the past 16 years,” said Dr. Earp. “The BCRF has meant so much not only to UNC and our cancer center, but also to my personal work. We never take this support for granted and work diligently to use these funds in novel ways that will ultimately lead to the conquest of breast cancer.”