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Breast Cancer Research Program

The Breast Cancer Research Program has a strong emphasis on high-impact, collaborative, multi-disciplinary and mechanism-based research encompassing breast epithelial cell and molecular biology, genetics and genomics, immunotherapy, basic science-driven translational and clinical research, innovative clinical trials, and molecular epidemiology. Program members conduct research across a variety of disciplines and research focus areas, including: cellular signaling and molecular biology; breast pathology; genomic profiling; biomedical informatics; medical, surgical, and radiation oncology; clinical trial design; epidemiology; and supportive care studies.


The Breast Cancer Program has expertise in and leads clinical trials related to:

Identifying the role of PI3K inhibitors in resistance to antiestrogens in ER+ breast cancer

Molecular sub-classification of triple negative breast cancer and discovery of novel treatment targets

Evaluating non-invasive imaging technologies to predict anti-cancer drug action and treatment response

Studying the role of ERBB3 in mammary gland development, transformation and adaptive resistance

Understanding the role of TGFβ in cancer stem-like behavior and tumor progression

Investigating obesity as a metabolic marker of breast cancer risk in African Americans

Discovering actionable therapy targets in drug-resistant breast tumors after neoadjuvant therapy

Leading innovative clinical trials with targeted therapies and combinations

Meet the Program Members

The Breast Cancer Research Program includes around 30 members from multiple basic science and clinical departments across Vanderbilt University and Medical Center. Ingrid Mayer, M.D., M.S.C.I., and Ben Park, M.D., Ph.D., co-lead the program.

Featured Publications

Program News

January 9, 2020

Park named interim Hematology and Oncology director

Ben Ho Park, MD, PhD, has been named interim director of the Division of Hematology and Oncology.
December 5, 2019

Balko lands Mary Kay Foundation grant for breast cancer research

Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center's Justin Balko, PharmD, PhD, has received a $100,000 research grant from the Mary Kay Foundation.
October 24, 2019

Pietenpol, Wilson land Komen cancer research support

Two Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center investigators have received financial support from Susan G. Komen for breast cancer research.