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The Breast Cancer Research Foundation has selected UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center’s Katherine Hoadley, PhD, as the 2020 recipient of the Marion R. Wright Award for Scientific Excellence. Hoadley is the first to receive this award, which was established to honor an exemplary researcher within the field of metastatic breast cancer within their first three years on faculty. In addition to the recognition, Hoadley will receive a $5,000 prize.

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UNC Lineberger’s Katherine Hoadley, PhD.

Hoadley, an assistant professor of genetics at the UNC School of Medicine and a member of the Computational Medicine Program, made significant contributions to The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA), the landmark cancer genomics research initiative led by the National Cancer Institute and the National Human Genome Research Institute that brought together researchers from across the globe to develop comprehensive genomic profiles of 33 major cancers.

“The Marion R. Wright Award is designed to recognize young researchers specifically researching breast cancer metastasis. This is crucial because it is the metastases that are lethal,” said Lisa A. Carey, MD, FASCO, the Richardson and Marilyn Jacobs Preyer Distinguished Professor in Breast Cancer Research and deputy director of clinical sciences at UNC Lineberger.

Hoadley participates in the AURORA US Metastatic Breast Cancer Project, which was established to better characterize the genomic events that lead to metastatic disease and to investigate why it responds differently to treatments.  She is the principal investigator of the Clinical Data Coordinating Center hosted at UNC Lineberger and is a member of the analysis working group.

The Breast Cancer Research Foundation was founded in 1993 with a mission to prevent and cure breast cancer by advancing the world’s most promising research. As part of this commitment, the foundation launched the AURORA program in conjunction with the Translational Breast Cancer Research Consortium to support precise molecular analyses of breast cancer metastases and of the primary tumor to better understand the evolution of metastasis and the mechanisms of drug resistance that allow tumors to grow and spread. In addition to conducting prospective clinical trials, the researchers are collecting primary breast cancer-metastasis pairs for multi-platform genomic profiling in order to identify the molecular drivers of metastatic disease.