FemmeNoir Online
Who Is She
Home | What's New | About FemmeNoir | Commentary | Book Recommendations | Leaders & Legends | Who Is She | Articles | Herstory | Arts & Entertainment | Fashion | Multimedia | In Her Own Words | Poetry | Coming Out | Resources | Archives | Message Board | Calendar | Mailbag | Contact Me | Photos | Entertainment Guide | Org Spotlight and Announcements | Favorite Links | Search | Redbone Press | House of Concern | Pica 12
Honoring Our Straight Sisters Who Are Empowering Our Communities

Olufunmilayo I. Olopade, MD,FACP

Olufunmilayo Olopade, MD, directs a clinical and laboratory research program in cancer genetics at the University of Chicago. She is working to solve a medical mystery that affects many black women. Why do black women, she wonders, often develop breast cancer at younger ages than white women and why do black women have higher mortality rates?

She hopes to answer these questions by comparing the genetic profiles of women with breast cancer in the United States, Africa, and the Caribbean. Her research, already under way in Chicago and her native Nigeria, will analyze the genetic material of 100,000 women who developed breast cancer before the age of 45.

Although available evidence suggests that genetic factors may explain ethnic differences in the biology of breast cancers, little information is available regarding mutations of the genes associated with breast cancer in ethnic groups other than Caucasians. Olopade's laboratory was the first to describe recurrent mutations of the first known breast cancer gene in extended African-American families with breast cancer.

"This should be a high priority research question," she says. "The nature of mutations in the breast cancer genes in Africa is just beginning to be revealed by the evaluation of families of combined African and European or American ancestry."

Dr. Olopade received her bachelor’s and medical degrees with distinction from the University of Ibadan in her native Nigeria and served as a medical officer at the Nigerian Navy Hospital. She came to the United States as a resident in internal medicine at Cook County Hospital, Chicago, where she was named chief medical resident. She did her hematology/oncology fellowship training at the University of Chicago and studied the molecular genetics of cancer under Dr. Janet Rowley, Blum-Riese Distinguished Service Professor of Medicine.

A former James S. McDonnell Foundation Scholar and ASCO Young Investigator awardee, Dr. Olopade served as chairperson of the ASCO task force on cancer genetics education. Dr. Olopade has delivered more than 100 lectures on topics including breast cancer, colon cance, and genetic testing. Her contributions to the professional literature include more than 100 articles, book chapters, and abstracts on topics including the genetics of cancer, and serving as a reviewer for several journals, including the Journal of Clinical Oncology and the New England Journal of Medicine.


More Who Is She

FemmeNoir (c) 2003