Dr. Olufunmilayo Olopade,  the Walter L. Palmer Distinguished Service Professor of Medicine and Human Genetics and the founding director of the Center for Clinical Cancer Genetics and Global Health, has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences.  Dr. Olopade joined the Department of Medicine/Section of Hematology/Oncology in 1991 where she specializes in cancer risk assessment and individualized management for the most aggressive forms of breast cancer. She is recognized as a pioneer in cancer genetics, and her contributions have shed light on the origins and heterogeneity of breast cancer in diverse populations across the African Diaspora. Her laboratory was the first to describe recurrent BRCA1 mutations in extended African American families with breast and ovarian cancers, underscoring the need for at-risk women to receive genetic counseling, testing, and screening at younger ages.

Dr. Olopade has received considerable recognition for her work, including honorary degrees from several universities, the Franklin Roosevelt Freedom From Want Medal, Officer of the Order of the Niger designation, a MacArthur Fellowship, and an Order of Lincoln Award—the state of Illinois’ highest honor for professional achievement and public service. She is also an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society and the National Academy of Medicine.

Election to the National Academy of Sciences is considered one of the highest scientific honors. Each year members are nominated and elected for their distinguished and continuing accomplishments in original research by current Academy members. For more information click here