Susan G. Komen founder to speak at breast cancer research symposium

April 16, 2024
A flyer for the Ginny L. Clements Breast Cancer Research Institute Symposium on April 24. There is a photo of Ginny with her arms crossed and Nancy Brinker, founder of Susan G. Komen, who is the keynote speaker.

Nancy G. Brinker, founder of Susan G. Komen, is the keynote speaker for this year’s Ginny L. Clements Breast Cancer Research Institute Symposium, on April 24, 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m, at the UArizona Health Sciences Innovation Building. 

The annual symposium highlights research discoveries that are leading the way to tomorrow’s treatments and assists researchers in exploring emerging ideas. The daylong event is open to the public and free of charge. 

Following opening remarks by University of Arizona President Robert C. Robbins, MD, and Ginny L. Clements, Brinker will deliver the keynote presentation, “Developing a Continuum of Care Model to Address Healthcare Disparities in Breast and Cervical Cancer: The Promise Fund’s Approach.” 

“In my keynote, I aim to impart the crucial message that sustainable healthcare solutions for underserved communities must be community driven,” Brinker said. “By empowering local voices and fostering healthy communities, we not only bolster economies, but also enhance safety and well-being. While disparities persist, collaborative efforts hold the key to overcoming them and forging a more equitable future.” 

Following Brinker, Janet L. Funk, MD, vice chair of research at the University of Arizona College of Medicine, will host a conversation between Brinker and Ginny L. Clements, philanthropist and breast cancer patient advocate. 

Clements said that reading Brinker’s memoir prompted her decision to share her own breast cancer survival story and establish her namesake breast cancer research institute at the University of Arizona. 

In 2020, Clements gave $8.5 million to the Cancer Center to establish the breast cancer research institute that bears her name in celebration of 65 years living breast cancer free. 

Exploring precision medicine 

Precision medicine and addressing health disparities are two important themes for this year’s symposium.  

Speaking on tailoring breast cancer treatment is Kevin Kalinsky, MD, director of the Glenn Family Breast Center and Breast Medical Oncology at the Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University, director of the Division of Medical Oncology, Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology, and professor in the Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology. 

Aditya Bardia, MD, MPH, FASCO, professor of medicine, Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, director, Breast Oncology Program, assistant chief (Translational Research), Medical Oncology Division and director of Translational Research Integration from UCLA Health Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, will discuss the development of targeted therapies, particularly antibody drug conjugates, to help patients with metastatic breast cancer.  

For a complete list of speakers, the symposium schedule and the registration link, visit the Cancer Center’s symposium webpage.