Patricia Opresko, PhD, Named the Dr. Bernard F. Fisher Chair for Breast Cancer Discovery Science

UPMC Hillman Cancer Center is pleased to announce Patricia L. Opresko, PhD, as the Dr. Bernard F. Fisher Chair for Breast Cancer Discovery Science, a newly formed chair being launched this year. Dr. Opresko was nominated for this appointment because of her highly innovative and impactful work that builds on an extraordinary and sustained record of scientific accomplishment advancing our understanding of how telomeres protect the genome and prevent cancer and premature aging. Her work also focuses on how environmental exposures compromise telomeres’ protective function. 

Dr. Opresko is co-leader of UPMC Hillman Cancer Center’s Genome Stability Program, professor of Environmental and Occupational Health in the School of Public Health, and professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Chemical Biology in the School of Medicine at Pitt. She is also co-chair of the working group on environmental risk factors for cancer in western Pennsylvania and a member of the working group on cancer and aging, both at UPMC Hillman.

Dr. Opresko is author of more than 95 peer-reviewed publications in top-tier journals that include Molecular Cell, Cell Reports, Nature Structural & Molecular Biology, Nature Communications, PNAS, and Nucleic Acids Research. Her H-index is 46 (Google Scholar), which speaks to the impact of her work. She is recognized nationally and internationally as an expert and has been invited to give numerous talks at universities, research institutes, and scientific conferences, including keynote and distinguished scientist seminars. She is an active member of the scientific community, and as a testament was recently elected as Vice President and upcoming President of the 380-member Environmental Mutagenesis and Genomics Society (EMGS). She was elected to Chair the 2023 Gordon Research Conference on DNA Repair. Dr. Opresko is also an exceptional mentor and lecturer; her trainees have also received NIH K and F grants, travel awards, presentation awards, and been selected to give talks at numerous conferences.

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