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AACR Distinguished Lectureship in Breast Cancer Research, supported by AFLAC Recipients

This lectureship recognizes an outstanding scientist whose work has inspired or has the potential to inspire new perspectives on the etiology, diagnosis, treatment, or prevention of breast cancer.

2018 Award Recipient
Zena Werb, PhD
University of California San Francisco
San Francisco, California

Dr. Werb will present her award lecture, “What Can We Learn from Breast Cancers that Metastasize or Don't?” Thursday, Dec. 6, 2018, during the 41st Annual San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.

Zena Werb, PhD, is honored for her pioneering studies involving elucidation of the mechanistic role of the extracellular microenvironment in regulating breast epithelial cell function, which has led to a paradigm shift in the understanding of mammary gland development as well as breast cancer progression and metastasis.

Dr. Werb received her BSc in biochemistry from the University of Toronto, and her PhD in cell biology from Rockefeller University, New York. After postdoctoral studies at the Strangeways Research Laboratory in Cambridge England, she was recruited to the University of California San Francisco faculty, where she is currently professor of anatomy and associate director for basic science, Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of California, San Francisco.

Dr. Werb is recognized internationally for her fundamental discoveries about the role of matrix metalloproteinases, the cellular microenvironment and intercellular communication in the normal functioning and pathogenesis of tissues, in particular, breast cancer. She has published over 450 papers. Her honors include a Guggenheim Fellowship, the E.B. Wilson Medal, American Society for Cell Biology and election to the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Medicine, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Award Recipients

  • 2017: Jeffrey M. Rosen
  • 2016: Max S. Wicha
  • 2015: Anne-Lise Børresen-Dale
  • 2014: Mary-Claire King
  • 2013: Michael R. Stratton
  • 2012: Mina J. Bissell
  • 2011: Joan S. Brugge
  • 2010: Alan Ashworth
  • 2009: Robert A. Weinberg
  • 2008: Joan Massagué