What a wonderful world it would be if we could PREVENT breast cancer, instead of simply treat it.
The Lynn Sage Foundation is pleased to introduce Elizabeth Hibler, Ph.D. as the tenth Lynn Sage Scholar. She has dedicated her career to the prevention of breast cancer, specifically studying the biological links between behavior and breast cancer risk. Dr. Hibler is an Assistant Professor of Preventative Medicine in the Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Her lab investigates precision prevention programs for high-risk individuals.
High breast density is a common risk factor for breast cancer, as it can mask tumors on traditional mammography. Studies show that high rates of physical activity are associated with lower breast density, however it is not clear why. As a Lynn Sage Scholar, Dr. Hibler’s research program will examine the relationship between physical activity, DNA methylation (a biological process that indicates which genes are turned on and off) and breast density.
This study will objectively measure the physical activity of a population of women with high and low breast density via device-based tracking. Dr. Hibler will then assess the effect of physical activity on breast density looking for specific biological links. The goal of her project is to identify molecular biomarkers to incorporate into breast cancer risk prediction models and to develop personalized plans of physical activity for breast cancer prevention.
"I’m so excited to receive a Lynn Sage Scholar award,” comments Dr. Hibler. “The support from this award will allow me to continue my research in understanding the epidemiology of high breast density as a risk factor for breast cancer.”
With this award, The Lynn Sage Foundation is excited to continue investing in innovative theories and further the understanding of how to prevent breast cancer. Thank you for your generous support, which makes this award possible.
“We could not be more grateful for the support that The Lynn Sage Foundation has provided to us over the past two years,” comments prior Lynn Sage Scholar Dr. Horiuchi.
His Lynn Sage Scholar award period concluded at the end of June 2019. The theory he pursued, that the S100 family of calcium-binding proteins correlated with poor outcomes in Triple Negative Breast Cancer (TNBC) patients, was initially considered ambitious. It could not have been considered for funding by federal sources at the time of his initial award. Dr. Horiuchi knew his project would be highly challenging, but it was also unique and had potential for strong impact.
“We firmly believe that nothing that could become impactful would come easily in biomedical research,” states Dr. Horiuchi.
Two years later, his team’s research has preliminarily validated the relationship of these proteins in the proliferation of TNBC tumors. This research, while still growing, has gained the support of a nationally recognized immuno-oncology scientist. Dr. Horiuchi’s team now has a track record to pursue publication and federal funding. Most importantly, they will continue this line of investigation to establish the S100 proteins as novel immuno-oncology targets in TNBC.
Throughout his investigations, Dr. Horiuchi remains rooted in his ultimate goal, to reduce the mortality rate for TNBC patients. The Lynn Sage Foundation is similarly dedicated to funding innovative breast cancer research. And, like Dr. Horiuchi, we could not be more grateful for support of our cause. Investing in young doctors with novel theories is not without risk, but we believe we won’t end breast cancer without supporting ambitious minds.
Thank you for contributing to the Lynn Sage Scholars Program and bold ideas in the fight against breast cancer!
During October, many of our thoughts center on friends and family that have faced, or are fighting, breast cancer. According to the National Cancer Institute, breast cancer is the most common and second most deadly cancer for women in the US. Unfortunately, this awful disease brings fear to far too many women and men.
The Lynn Sage Foundation believes research is key to improving the lives of those diagnosed with breast cancer. However, it is very difficult for bright, young doctors to receive initial funding for their innovative ideas. Our approach is simple. The Lynn Sage Scholars program focuses on seeding early career researchers in the field of breast cancer. These awards provide both time and funds to test novel theories, such as targeting a new molecular family for personalized medicine. Our ultimate goal is to be the catalyst to better prevention and treatment of breast cancer for everyone.
Medical research can be a lengthy process. Therefore, our immediate measure of success is the ability of each Scholar to leverage this investment into more significant governmental grants. On average to date, one dollar invested by the Lynn Sage Scholars program results in an additional four dollars from nationally recognized institutions, such as the National Institutes of Health. This impact will only continue to grow as the family of Lynn Sage Scholars pursue their investigations.
Leverage your contribution, while helping set curious minds on the path to breakthrough. Please consider honoring a loved one with a donation to the Lynn Sage Foundation and pioneering breast cancer research.
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