Dr. Laura Fejerman, Associate Professor, UCSF Department of
Dr. Fejerman’s research focuses on the discovery of genetic and non-genetic factors that contribute to breast cancer risk and prognosis in Latinas
Dr. Fejerman is the 2019-2020 Chair of the AACR Minorities in Cancer Research (MICR) Council
Research Highlights of Dr. Fejerman’s Work
1. Biological implications of breast cancer protective variants in Latin American women with high Indigenous American ancestry
This project investigates the mechanisms through which a protective single nucleotide polymorphism of Indigenous American origin and other variants in a region near the estrogen receptor 1 gene (ESR1) provide protection from breast cancer, particularly the forms of breast cancer that are most difficult to treat (i.e., estrogen receptor negative tumors).
2. Exposomic approach to understand the effect of immigration and genetic ancestry on breast cancer risk in U.S. Latinas
This project investigates levels of potentially carcinogenic compounds in plasma from U.S. Latinas and how they relate to place of birth, genetic ancestry, neighborhood characteristics, and breast cancer risk.
3. Improving precision medicine for breast cancer in Latinas: A multi-tiered approach.
Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer mortality among Latina women and Latina women diagnosed with breast cancer are at higher risk of death from the disease compared to non-Hispanic White women. In addition, despite the tremendous advances in knowledge about germline variation and risk, tumor mutation and outcomes, there is very modest information about this population.
This project focuses on both expanding our knowledge of germline genetic factors and somatic mutations in tumors that are specific to Latinas and also on educating and facilitating access to precision medicine approaches for this population.
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