Healthcare Forum - 190918

"BRCA1 Linked Cancers: Moving Bench Research Towards Personalized Medicine"
presented by Dr. Veena Rao, Morehouse School of Medicine, Professor and Director Cancer Biology Program, Department of OB/GYN

The PMI Atlanta Healthcare Forum has 9 planned sessions throughout 2019. Proposed topics include IT & IT PMO in Healthcare, Healthcare SME/Domain Forums such as Clinical, Laboratory, Research, Tomorrow's Healthcare & Government practices/law, Thought Leadership in Healthcare, and Innovation in Healthcare Technology.


Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths among women. The majority of young women with BRCA1 mutations have a so-called triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) and high-grade serous ovarian cancer (HGSOC) with an aggressive phenotype. Currently there is no targeted therapy for TNBC and HGSOC. Ongoing work in the lab is geared towards understanding the molecular mechanism of BRCA1 dysfunction in these cancers to develop biomarkers for early detection of these cancers.

This work has led to the discovery of a BRCA1 function-based assay Patent 8,372,580, the only one in the world that can stratify risk for TNBC and HGSOC development. Additionally the Patent can be used to develop drugs for targeted therapy of these cancers, which currently have no targeted treatments available.


Dr. Veena N. Rao is Professor and Co-Director of the Cancer Biology Program in the Department of OB/GYN at Morehouse School of Medicine. She was awarded the Georgia Cancer Coalition Distinguished Cancer Scholar Award from the Governor of Georgia for outstanding cancer research. She received her Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Osmania University, India and some of the work was done at Max Planck Institute in Germany, University of Edinburgh, Scotland and MIT, Boston. Her postdoctoral work was from the University of California, Berkeley and Yale University School of Medicine. She was a Fogarty International fellow at National Cancer Institute where she and Dr. Reddy identified the ERG gene (Science 1987), which is involved in prostate cancers.

Dr. Rao has a long career beginning at Temple University and then at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia as an Assistant Professor where her group cloned the ELK-1 gene (Science 1989, Nature 1991). Recently Elk-1 was found to play a role in neurodegeneration and schizophrenia. She then moved to Thomas Jefferson University as Associate Professor where she identified and cloned the BRCA1 isoforms. Dr. Rao has been working in the BRCA1 field since the cloning of the gene in 1994 and has spearheaded numerous breakthroughs in breast and ovarian cancer research.

Dr. Rao then moved as Professor and Co-Director of the Division of Cancer Genetics at Allegheny University of the Health Sciences, Philadelphia and then became Professor and Co-Director of the Division of Cancer Genetics at Drexel University. This led her to be recruited as the State of Georgia Cancer Coalition Distinguished Cancer Scholar at Morehouse School of Medicine to initiate a Cancer Biology program and train minority students in cancer research at Morehouse School of Medicine. She was the research advisor for the first MD, PhD student at Morehouse School of Medicine. Dr. Rao has won numerous awards including outstanding mentor award, MSCR class of 2017. Her work has recently led to discovering a BRCA1 function-based assay, Patent 8,372,580 the only one in the world that can stratify risk and to develop drugs for targeted therapy of TNBC, a disease that currently has no targeted treatments available.

Dr. Rao was awarded research grant from It’s the Journey, producer of the Georgia 2-Day walk for breast cancer and Georgia CORE) in 2018. Received the Most Inspiring Women award in 2019 at New Year community celebration, Johns Creek Ga. Dr. Rao’s laboratory in Atlanta is an “OPEN” laboratory in that she welcomes visitors, cancer survivors and during her spare time she enjoys cooking healthy meals for survivors.


Wednesday, September 18, 2019, 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Philips LogoWhere

Philips Healthcare, 13560 Morris Road, PHA University Room, Alpharetta, GA 30004


PMI Atlanta Member: $12.00, Early Bird Rate $10.00 through September 11th
Non-Member: $15.00, Early Bird Rate $13.00 through September 11th

Forums no longer accept cash registrations at the door.  Please register in advance or via credit card at the door.

Meeting content, presenter, and location are subject to change. Refunds will not be made for changes in meeting content, presenters, or locations. 


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Event Properties

Event Date 09-18-2019 6:00 pm
Event End Date 09-18-2019 8:00 pm
Registered 12
Cut off date 09-18-2019 11:55 pm
Individual Price $15.00
Location Philips Healthcare
We are no longer accepting registration for this event

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