Newswise — Susan G. Komen®, the world’s leading breast cancer organization, will recognize innovative and successful physicians and scientists for their efforts in the advancement of the field of breast cancer at the 2023 San Antonio Breast Cancer Research Symposium, December 5-9, 2023.

Established by Komen in 1992, the Brinker Awards for Scientific Distinction are marquee scientific awards for honoring leading scientists who have made the most significant advances in breast cancer research and medicine. The awardees are named for their exceptional contributions to our understanding of the underlying mechanisms of breast cancer (Basic Science) and advances in breast cancer care (Clinical Research), which are both critical to fighting the disease.

Brinker Awardee for Scientific Distinction in Basic Science

Olufunmilayo I. Olopade, M.D., FACP, OON, is currently the Walter L. Palmer Distinguished Service Professor of Medicine and Human Genetics, founding director of the Center for Clinical Cancer Genetics and associate dean for Global Health at University of Chicago as well as a Komen Scholar. She will receive the Brinker Award for Scientific Distinction in Basic Science.

Dr. Olopade’s ground-breaking discoveries have led to more personalized treatments for patients with breast cancer and continue to help people reduce their risk of inheriting the disease. She continues to develop novel approaches to democratize access to quality precision health care, increasing health equity and improving cancer outcomes.

Brinker Awardee for Scientific Distinction in Clinical Research

Daniel F. Hayes, M.D., FASCO, FACP, is now the Stuart B. Padnos Professor of Breast Cancer Research at the University of Michigan’s Rogel Cancer Center and Professor of Internal Medicine in the UM School of Medicine’s Division of Hematology/Oncology.

Dr. Hayes focuses on tumor biomarker tests, which are crucial in predicting prognosis, chemotherapy response, recurrence and treatment side effects in patients. His work has accelerated the ability to personalize care and treatment for breast cancer patients so that they get the right treatment.

Susan G. Komen® Rising Star Researchers

This award focuses on investigators whose work has the potential to significantly impact the breast cancer field and who demonstrates strong leadership potential in the breast cancer community.

Sara M. Tolaney, M.D., M.P.H., serves as the Chief of the Division of Breast Oncology at Dana-Farber as well as the Associate Director of the Susan F. Smith Center for Women’s Cancers. She is a Senior Physician at Dana-Farber and an Associate Professor of Medicine at the Harvard Medical School.

Gaorav P. Gupta, M.D., Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the Associate Chair for Research in the Department of Radiation Oncology, as well as co-leader of the Breast Cancer Program in the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Susan G. Komen® Research Advocacy Champion

This award honors an emerging or established advocate leader who is making significant contributions to ensure the unique and valuable perspectives of breast cancer patients, survivors and co-survivors are integrated into the scientific dialogue to drive progress, improve patient outcomes and help realize our vision of a world without breast cancer.

Patricia A. Spears, B.S., FASCO, is a renowned cancer research patient advocate who brings her personal experience as an over 20-year breast cancer and recent liver cancer survivor as well as her expertise as a laboratory scientist. She is being honored for her tireless dedication as a breast cancer research patient advocate.

Driving innovation in breast cancer research toward improved patient care has been a top priority for Komen since its founding in 1982. Komen is the leading breast cancer research organization that has invested nearly $1.1 billion in breast cancer research, making it the largest funder of breast cancer research outside of the U.S. government.

About Susan G. Komen®

Susan G. Komen® is the world’s leading nonprofit breast cancer organization, working to save lives and end breast cancer forever. Komen has an unmatched, comprehensive 360-degree approach to fighting this disease across all fronts and supporting millions of people in the U.S. and in countries worldwide. We advocate for patients, drive research breakthroughs, improve access to high-quality care, offer direct patient support and empower people with trustworthy information. Founded by Nancy G. Brinker, who promised her sister, Susan G. Komen, that she would end the disease that claimed Suzy’s life, Komen remains committed to supporting those affected by breast cancer today, while tirelessly searching for tomorrow’s cures. Visit or call 1-877 GO KOMEN. Connect with us on social at