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Downtown Reflections. Photograph by Brian Cohen.
Downtown Reflections. Photograph by Brian Cohen. | Show Photo

Innovation

Prominent breast cancer researcher Adrian Lee leads Women's Cancer Research Center

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It's a two-fer. Renowned expert in breast cancer research, Dr. Adrian Lee, has arrived in Pittsburgh to lead the newly formed Women's Cancer Research Center at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI) and Magee-Women's Research Institute.

His wife, Dr. Steffi Oesterreich, an expert in estrogen receptor biology and action, has joined him as director of education for the Women's Cancer Research Center.

Dr. Lee is well known for his research targeting growth factors that stimulate cells to grow both normally and abnormally. He was formerly associate professor of medicine and molecular and cellular biology in the Departments of Medicine and Molecular and Cellular Biology at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. He was also recently appointed to the Scientific Advisory Council of Susan G. Komen for the Cure and is a permanent member of the molecular oncogenesis section for the National Institutes of Health.

"We want to block those (abnormally occurring) pathways," says Lee reflecting on his 10 years of research that has brought about  promising therapies that are currently in clinical trial. "We are trying to understand how the cancers develop, turn off those pathways and ultimately prevent it."

UPCI investigators are known the world over for their work in clinical and basic cancer research, which was one of the reasons Lee and his wife came to Pittsburgh. That and the encouraging of longtime friend Nancy Davidson, director of UPCI and UPMC Cancer Centers. The couple live in Fox Chapel with their two daughters.
 
"Everyone speaks very highly of the city and Forbes rated it the number one place in America to live," adds Lee. "We like to bike and camp--and The Strip. The Cancer Center is a real draw for scientists coming here."

The goal of the center is to perform bench-to-bedside research and translate laboratory findings into clinical advances in the prevention and treatment of women's cancers, he adds. "Given the outstanding clinical and basic science in women's cancer at UPCI and MWRI, we expect to have a rapid and major impact on reducing the burden of these diseases."

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Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Dr. Adrian Lee, Women's Cancer Research Center

Image: It was Eastward Ho! to Fox Chapel for the Lee/Oesterreich family in August.


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