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Meet the 2023 Panelists for BCRF’s Symposium and Awards Luncheon

By BCRF | October 3, 2023

Learn from distinguished BCRF researchers about the latest in breast cancer research and how they’re driving it forward

Every October, BCRF’s Symposium and Awards Luncheon recognizes our more than 250 esteemed investigators for their achievements in breast cancer research and brings together our dedicated supporters to raise critical funds for our mission. This year’s event will be held on Friday, October 20 at 10 a.m.

The Symposium, “Three Decades of Innovation and Progress”, will feature a panel of BCRF investigators––Drs. Fumni Olopade, Seema Khan, and Connie Lehman––co-moderated by BCRF Founding Scientific Director Dr. Larry Norton and BCRF Scientific Director Dr. Judy Garber. Dr. Olopade will receive the Foundation’s Jill Rose Award for Scientific Excellence and BCRF board member and fashion designer, Kendra Scott, will receive the Sandra Taub Humanitarian Award.

Read on to meet this year’s panelists:


Olufunmilayo (Funmi) I. Olopade, MD, FAACR
University of Chicago
Walter L. Palmer Distinguished Service of Professor of Medicine

Dr. Olopade is a Walter L. Palmer Distinguished Service Professor of Medicine and Human Genetics and founding director of the Center for Clinical Cancer Genetics and Global Health at the University of Chicago Medicine. Dr. Olopade’s research focuses on gaining a better understanding of the root causes and genomic basis of cancer in diverse populations. She has published extensively on genetic and non-genetic risk factors for breast cancer and is internationally renowned for her work in inherited cancer syndromes and clinical expertise in early detection and prevention of breast cancer in high-risk women. For her accomplishments, she was elected to the National Academy of Science, National Academy of Medicine, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Philosophical Society among numerous other honors and awards.

Her BCRF-funded research aims to identify ways to ensure that underserved women in Nigeria at high risk of breast cancer receive quality preventive screening and treatment. Dr. Olopade is a recipient of the Estée Lauder Companies’ Brands Award in Memory of Evelyn H. Lauder.

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Constance L. Lehman, MD, PhD
Massachusetts General Hospital
Professor of Radiology, Harvard Medical School

Dr. Lehman’s current work applies artificial intelligence and advanced methods of deep learning to improve breast cancer detection, diagnosis, and treatment. These efforts focus on applying AI to deliver higher-quality health outcomes at lower costs for the full diversity of patients at risk for and with cancer. This is a continuation of her career-long commitment to expand access for all patients globally to the highest quality, patient-centered, affordable care.

Her BCRF-funded research supports using advanced tools of artificial intelligence to develop methods to improve breast cancer screening and identify women most at risk.

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Seema Khan, MD
Northwestern University
Bluhm Family Professor of Cancer Research Professor of Surgery
Feinberg School of Medicine

Dr. Khan’s current research is focused on both the development of novel agents for breast cancer prevention and transdermal drug delivery to the breast to avoid or reduce the systemic effects associated with oral drug administration. She has also conducted studies on breast cancer risk biomarkers in breast tissue and on minimally invasive techniques of obtaining breast samples for biomarker research.

Her BCRF-funded research supports the investigation of the role of the progesterone pathway in breast cancer causation, prevention, and treatment.

Judy E. Garber, MD, MPH
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Harvard Medical School
BCRF Scientific Director

In addition to serving as BCRF’s Scientific Director and studying BRCA-associated breast cancers as a BCRF investigator, Dr. Judy Garber directs the Center for Cancer Genetics and Prevention at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and is a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Garber is a foremost expert in clinical cancer genetics—with a focus on breast cancer genetics—and she played a major role in developing national guidelines. In addition, Dr. Garber is a leader in translational breast cancer research with a particular focus on treating and preventing triple-negative and other BRCA-associated breast cancers. Among many honors, she was elected to the National Academy of Medicine in 2013.

Larry Norton, MD
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
BCRF Founding Scientific Director

Dr. Larry Norton has dedicated his life to the eradication of cancer and in 1993, he founded BCRF with the late Evelyn H. Lauder. At Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Dr. Norton serves as the senior vice president in the Office of the President, the medical director of the Evelyn H. Lauder Breast Center, and the Norna S. Sarofim Chair in Clinical Oncology. In addition to serving as BCRF’s Founding Scientific Director, Dr. Norton, whose research scope is vast, collaborates with BCRF researchers on several projects—most notably the Mathematical Oncology Initiative. Over his illustrious career, Dr. Norton has received many honors. Last year, Dr. Norton was elected to the American Academy of Arts & Sciences.

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