University of Ibadan, Nigeria, M.B/B.S. Medicine, 1980;
Cook County Hospital, Chicago, IL Chief Medical Resident, 1986;
The University of Chicago, Postdoc Fellow, Hematology/Oncology, 1987-1991
We are entering a new era of medicine where genetic markers are going to be used to make clinical management decisions. Our goal is to bridge the gap between basic science and clinical practice through integrated bench to bedside research. My group seeks to further our understanding of the genetic and epigenetic alterations, which characterize human cancer in a way that will eventually lead to early diagnosis, more effective treatment and prevention of cancer.
We have amassed unique resources in the Center for Clinical Cancer Genetics and continue to contribute new knowledge in clinical cancer genetics through the study of germline and somatic mutations in breast and other cancers. We have initiated studies to determine the incidence of BRCA1 and/or BRCA2 mutations among individuals from ethnically diverse high-risk families in my laboratory. We are also mapping several chromosomal regions that harbor putative tumor suppressor genes.
We are funded to define the mutation spectrum of BRCA mutations in women of African descent and to study the evolution of these mutations in the African Diaspora. Founder mutations in ethnic groups could have clinical value because they can be sought directly and rapidly in breast cancer patients with specific ethnic backgrounds. More importantly, these genetic-epidemiology studies will allow us to study gene-gene and gene-environment interactions and BRCA1 and BRCA2 biology. We are also investigating the conditions required for loss of heterozygosity at the BRCA1 locus. These studies will no doubt lead to an improved understanding of the biology of breast cancer that will ultimately translate into more effective therapies.