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Drs. Adrian Lee and Steffi Oesterreich received the 2018 PNC Elsie Hillman Distinguished Scholar Award!

Congratulations to Drs. Adrian Lee and Steffi Oesterreich on receiving the 2018 PNC Elsie Hillman Distinguished Scholar Award.  The award was announced at this year’s UPMC Hillman Gala that took place on Thursday, September 20 at PPG Paints Arena. Drs. Lee and Oesterreich were joined on that special evening by their daughters Paula and Nicola Lee-Oesterreich (photo below). You can read further coverage at the Pittsburgh-Post Gazette.

Photos from the gala:

Adrian and Steffi with Lou Cestello, Regional President, PNC
With Paula and Nicola Lee-Oesterreich
The award!



New publication! “Key regulators of lipid metabolism drive endocrine resistance in invasive lobular breast cancer”

Our latest paper focused on lobular breast cancer is now available. Role for SREBP1 and other regulators of fatty acid and cholesterol synthesis in invasive lobular breast cancer.

New publication! “Circulating Tumor Cell Phenotyping via High-Throughput Acoustic Separation.”

 2018 Aug;14(32):e1801131. doi: 10.1002/smll.201801131. Epub 2018 Jul 3.

Circulating Tumor Cell Phenotyping via High-Throughput Acoustic Separation.


The study of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) offers pathways to develop new diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers that benefit cancer treatments. In order to fully exploit and interpret the information provided by CTCs, the development of a platform is reported that integrates acoustics and microfluidics to isolate rare CTCs from peripheral blood in high throughput while preserving their structural, biological, and functional integrity. Cancer cells are first isolated from leukocytes with a throughput of 7.5 mL h-1 , achieving a recovery rate of at least 86% while maintaining the cells’ ability to proliferate. High-throughput acoustic separation enables statistical analysis of isolated CTCs from prostate cancer patients to be performed to determine their size distribution and phenotypic heterogeneity for a range of biomarkers, including the visualization of CTCs with a loss of expression for the prostate specific membrane antigen. The method also enables the isolation of even rarer, but clinically important, CTC clusters.

Steffi Oesterreich appointed Women’s Cancer Research Center (WCRC) Co-Director

Steffi Oesterreich, PhD, has been appointed as the new Women’s Cancer Research Center (WCRC) Co-Director, replacing Adrian Lee, PhD, who has stepped down to focus on his appointment as Director of the University of Pittsburgh/UPMC Institute of Precision Medicine. The WCRC is a collaboration of Hillman and the Magee-Womens Research Institute that was first established in 2010, with Dr. Oesterreich as the WCRC Director of Education. Dr. Oesterreich will now work closely with WCRC Co-Director Ronald Buckanovich, MD, PhD, to sustain and grow the WCRC as a premier center for basic, translational, and clinical research in women’s cancers.

A Professor and Vice-Chair of Pharmacology & Chemical Biology in the School of Medicine, Dr. Oesterreich brings a wealth of leadership experience and breast cancer expertise to this position. Indeed, the Susan G. Komen Foundation selected her, together with other international leaders in the breast cancer field, to serve as a Komen Scholar and Advisor. Dr. Oesterreich previously served as the Chair of the NIH Tumor Cell Biology Study Section, and her research is currently funded by the National Cancer Institute, Department of Defense, and Pennsylvania Breast Cancer Coalition, Breast Cancer Research Foundation, in addition to Komen.

Congratulations Dr. Oesterreich on your new role as Co-Director of the WCRC and thank you Dr. Lee for your 8 years of service to the WCRC.