Local-Global Impact

The Center for Clinical Cancer Genetics is based at the University of Chicago Medicine, but our work directly impacts people around the world.   Within the United States, individuals and families with a high risk for breast cancer come from around the country to seek our care and participate in our clinical trials, and our research program is a global paragon of clinical cancer genetics research that stimulates and complements related research around the world. By advancing discourse and fostering training opportunities with international professionals, the Center for Clinical Cancer Genetics continues to create better cancer risk prediction models, more precise assessment tools, and improved methods of screening, detecting, and treating cancer.

International Partnerships

Researchers at the University of Chicago Center for Clinical Cancer Genetics have partnered with professionals on research projects in various countries including Brazil, Cameroon, Nigeria, Senegal, and Uganda.  The center's international collaborators and colleagues hail from around the world,ncluding Australia, Barbados, Brazil, Cameroon, Canada, Egypt, France, Italy, Nigeria, Senegal, Switzerland, Uganda, and the United Kingdom, just to name a few. 

The Center for Clinical Cancer Genetics' involvment in the Consortium of Investigators of Modifiers of BRCA1/2 (CIMBA) helps to contribute to a growing network of cancer researchers and cancer research centers that aim to study the effects of genetic modifiers.  Through its work, CIMBA has recognized that there is a vast overrepresentation of Caucasian and/or Jewish women (95% of the consortium's research participants) in its database, and, as a result, researchers are actively seeking to increase the global distribution of its participants.  The Center for Clinical Cancer Genetics at the University of Chicago is working with collaborators as part of CIMBA's BRCA1/2 International Diversity by Geography and Ancestry (BRIDGE) study in order to help increase the number of individuals and institutions in underserved populations involved in BRCA1/2 research.  By mobilizing more populations and collaborators from underrepresented regions and locales, researchers around the world will be better able to understand genetic modifiers and will be able to more accurately assess individuals' risks for cancer.

Partnership Spotlight: Ibadan, Nigeria

Dr. Funmi Olopade established a partner project with the University of Ibadan College of Medicine in Ibadan, Nigeria in 1998. Through this partnership, with funding and support from the United States Department of Defense and the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, Dr. Olopade and her Nigerian colleagues have been able to:

  • Provide clinical cancer genetics testing  and genetic counseling to women in Nigeria
  • Create a chemistry lab for researchers and medical professionals in Ibadan
  • Train doctors and professionals in MammaCare and mammography screening
  • Create access to mammogram technology in Ibadan
  • Create a framework for testing, screening, and treating for those with a high risk of breast cancer in Nigeria
  • Provide guidance and mentorship on grant writing, clinical trial development, clinical trial regulation, and clinical trial implementation
  • Dr. Funmi Olopade and research coordinator Michelle Tagle meet with clinical researchers at University Collge Hospital  in Ibadan, Nigeria

Partnerships such as this one allow our researchers to compare genetic and social variations observed in our patients in Chicago to the general US population and others around the world. In the process, researchers, patients, and the international community at large learn which factors and genes contribute most to one's risk of developing cancer.  The fight to cure cancer is a global effort, and the Center for Clinical Cancer Genetics at the University of Chicago is proud to contribute to this endeavor thanks to the support and contributions of our patients and their families.