Dr Charles Perou
Dr. Perou’s research crosses the disciplines of genomics, cancer biology, bioinformatics, epidemiology, and clinical trials. A major contribution of his has been in the characterization of the genomic diversity of breast tumors, which resulted in the discovery of the Basal-like/Triple-Negative Breast Cancer subtype. He and his colleagues demonstrated that breast cancers can be classified into at least five molecular subtypes, with his lab focusing particular attention on the Basal-like subtype. He is also elucidating the genetic causes that give rise to each subtype, modeling these events in Genetically Engineered Mouse Models, and then using these models to investigate tumor biology and the efficacy of new drugs and new drug combinations. Dr. Perou has also translated these molecular finding into human population-based studies; using a North Carolina population-based study (the Carolina Breast Cancer Study), he and his colleagues found that pre-menopausal African American women were diagnosed with Basal-like tumors approximately twice as often as those of European decent, thus providing insights into a cause of the observed racial outcomes disparities differences seen in the USA.
Dr. Perou has authored more than 330 peer reviewed articles, and is an inventor on multiple USA and European patents. He is the Faculty Director of the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center (LCCC) Bioinformatics Group, and Co-Director of the LCCC Breast Cancer Research Program. He is a member of the ALLIANCE/CALGB Breast Committee, and Co-Chair of the Triple-Negative Working Group of the Translational Breast Cancer Research Consortium. He is also the co-founder of two genomics-based biotechnology companies (Bioclassifier LLC and GeneCentric Therapeutics), both of which are focused on bringing genomic assays into the everyday cancer clinic to make improvements in personalized patient care.
He earned his Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Bates College, his PhD in Cell Biology from the University of Utah, and performed his postdoctoral work in the laboratory of David Botstein (then at Stanford University). He has won a number of awards including the 2009 AACR Outstanding Investigator Award for Breast Cancer Research, the 2011 Danaher Scientific and Medical Award, the 2012 European Institute of Oncology Breast Cancer Therapy Award, the 2013 Hyman L. Battle Distinguished Cancer Research Award from UNC, the 2016 Jill Rose Award for Distinguished Biomedical Research from the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, and the 2016 Brinker Award for Scientific Distinction from the Susan G. Komen. Lastly he has been named a Thomson Reuters Most Highly Cited Researcher in Clinical Medicine for 2014-16.