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University of Maryland breast cancer research pioneer Dr. Angela Brodie named AACR Academy Fellow

BALTIMORE March 27, 2013. Angela H. Brodie, Ph.D., a University of Maryland scientist whose research paved the way for a new class of drugs widely used to treat breast cancer patients around the world, has been selected by the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) as a fellow of the newly created AACR Academy.

Dr. Brodie, professor of pharmacology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and scientist at the University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Cancer Center, is one of 106 fellows who will be inducted into the AACR Academy on April 5, 2013, at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. AACR said it created the academy "to recognize and honor distinguished scientists whose major scientific contributions have propelled significant innovation and progress against cancer."

The inaugural class of scientists was selected through a rigorous peer review process. According to AACR, the number of fellows in the class symbolizes the age of the Philadelphia-based professional organization dedicated to advancing cancer research, which was founded in 1907.

"Our Board of Directors made the decision to establish the AACR Academy as a mechanism for recognizing scientists whose contributions to the cancer field have had an extraordinary impact," says Margaret Foti, Ph.D., M.D. (h.c.), AACR's chief executive officer. "Membership in the Fellows of the AACR Academy will be the most prestigious honor bestowed by the American Association for Cancer Research."

Dr. Brodie's research laid the groundwork for a class of drugs called aromatase inhibitors, which help to prevent recurrence of breast cancer in postmenopausal women by reducing estrogen produced by the body, thereby cutting off fuel to the cancer cells. The drugs inhibit the production of aromatase, an enzyme that plays a key role in the biosynthesis of estrogen.

"Dr. Brodie's pioneering research, which has spanned more than 30 years, has saved the lives of thousands of women worldwide," says Kevin J. Cullen, M.D., the Marlene & Stewart Greenebaum Distinguished Professor in Oncology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and director of the University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Cancer Center. "The development of this class of drugs is arguably one of the most important therapeutic advances in treating women with breast cancer in the last quarter century."

E. Albert Reece, M.D., Ph.D., M.B.A., vice president for medical affairs at the University of Maryland and the John Z. and Akiko K. Bowers Distinguished Professor and Dean of the University of Maryland School of Medicine, says, "Dr. Angela Brodie's research into aromatase inhibitors is an excellent example of translating discoveries in the laboratory into therapies that improve the lives of patients. She never gave up on her vision of finding a new treatment with fewer side effects, and many women around the world have benefitted from her perseverance. Dr. Brodie richly deserves this honor. We are most fortunate to have her as an esteemed member of our faculty."

Dr. Brodie has received numerous honors for her research, including the prestigious Charles F. Kettering Prize from the General Motors Cancer Research Awards in 2005, the Dorothy P. Landon-AACR Prize for Translational Cancer Research in 2006, and the Brinker Award for Scientific Distinction from the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation in 2000. She has published more than 200 papers in peer-revised scientific journals. She is continuing her work with aromatase inhibitors and has expanded her research into prostate cancer, collaborating with Vincent C.O. Njar, Ph.D., professor of pharmacology at the School of Medicine, on a new androgen synthesis inhibitor. The drug has been tested in a Phase I clinical trial, with preliminary results showing it is well tolerated and reduced PSA levels in most patients.


Contact: Karen Warmkessel
University of Maryland Medical Center

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