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, was inducted into the National Academy of Sciences on April  29, 2002 in Washington DC.  Election to the National Academy of Sciences is a widely accepted “ mark of excellence” in science and is considered one of the highest honors that a scientist can receive. Members are elected to the National Academy of Sciences in recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research.

 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.

Dr. Olopade was among 4 other University of Chicago faculty honored at the ceremony: Marianne Bertrand (Booth/Economics), Laura Gagliardi (Molecular Engineering) ,John Maunsell (Neurobiology) , and Angela Vellela Olinto (Astronomy & Astrophysics). More information may be found here: http://www.nasonline.org/about-nas/events/annual-meeting/nas159/2021-ceremony.html