June 5, 2015:

ruth-oreganRuth M. O’Regan, MD, has joined the Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium Steering Committee, representing the University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center. The committee, composed of one researcher from each member institution, meets on a regular basis to review activities of the consortium and decide matters of policy. The committee determines the criteria for approving concepts for development with the BTCRC.

“The BTCRC provides a unique and exciting means to allow collaboration between several premier cancer institutions in the U.S.,” said Dr. O’Regan. “These collaborations will allow more rapid and effective translation of promising therapies to patients with cancer, and the required translational aspects of the trials will allow us to give the correct treatments to the best suited patients. I am delighted to join the Steering Committee and to be involved in taking the network to the next level.”

Dr. O’Regan joined the UW faculty as chief of the Division of Hematology/Oncology on February 1. She was previously professor of hematology and medical oncology at Emory University School of Medicine, where she also served as chief of hematology and medical oncology at the Georgia Cancer Center for Excellence at Grady Memorial Hospital; medical director of the Emory Breast Center; and vice chair for educational affairs for the Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology, including serving as fellowship director.

Dr. O’Regan earned her medical degree from University College, Dublin, Ireland and completed her internal medicine residency at the Medical College of Wisconsin and her hematology/oncology fellowship at Northwestern University. Dr. O’Regan brings a wealth of experience as a clinician, educator, and scientist. She is a nationally recognized expert in breast cancer and specifically focuses on novel therapeutic approaches for hormone refractory and triple negative breast cancer, with a special emphasis in African-American patients.

Her research program focuses on identifying mechanisms of resistance to breast-cancer therapies and development of new therapies. Her research group has made significant discoveries about the role of the PI3 Kinase-mTOR pathway in triple-negative breast cancer, showing that mTOR inhibition can sensitize breast-cancer cells to upstream growth-factor inhibitors. These discoveries resulted in a novel clinical trial for patients with metastatic breast cancer.

About the Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium: The Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium creates a unique team-research culture to drive science rapidly from ideas to treatment-changing paradigms. Within this innovative environment, today’s research leaders collaborate with and mentor the research leaders of tomorrow with the unified goal of improving the lives of all patients with cancer.

About the Big Ten Conference: The Big Ten Conference is an association of world-class universities whose member institutions share a common mission of research, graduate, professional and undergraduate teaching and public service. Founded in 1896, the Big Ten has sustained a comprehensive set of shared practices and policies that enforce the priority of academics in the lives of students competing in intercollegiate athletics and emphasize the values of integrity, fairness and competitiveness. The broad-based programs of the 14 Big Ten institutions will provide over $200 million in direct financial support to almost 9,500 students for more than 11,000 participation opportunities on 350 teams in 42 different sports. The Big Ten sponsors 28 official conference sports, 14 for men and 14 for women, including the addition of men’s ice hockey and men’s and women’s lacrosse since 2013. For more information, visit www.bigten.org.