I am a surgical pathologist with experience in breast cancer gene expression profiling and genomics, and in combining traditional pathology information with data generated with high-throughput molecular techniques. The main focus of my research is on rare types of breast cancer, which together account for up to 25 percent of all invasive breast cancers. Unlike the common type of breast cancer, which comprises multiple entities with distinct biological features and clinical behaviors, tumors from each of the rare types have been shown to be relatively homogeneous at the molecular level.
With the recent development of techniques that allow us to survey the entire repertoire of mutations tumor cells harbor, we now have the opportunity to ascertain which alterations drive the growth and ability of these rare types of breast cancer to metastasize, and to define potential therapeutic targets that can be used to manage not only these rare cancers but also subsets of the common types of the disease. Understanding the anatomical and biological characteristics of tumors that govern their outcome and response to specific therapies is germane for the realization of the potentials of personalized medicine.