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Julie E. Lang, M.D., FACS
Research performed at: USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center
Specialty/Research Area: Breast Cancer
Award Year: 2013

Career Summary: Dr. Lang is Associate Professor of Surgery at USC. She received her M.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She did a surgical residency and postdoctoral research fellowship at the University of California, San Francisco. She then completed a clinical fellowship in breast surgical oncology at the UT MD Anderson Cancer Center. She served for 5 years as an Assistant Professor and Director of Breast Surgical Oncology at the University of Arizona Cancer Center prior to joining USC in July 2012. In addition to the STOP CANCER RCDA, Dr. Lang is funded by the Society of Surgical Oncology Clinical Investigator Award. She was an American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Foundation Merit Award winner in 2007. She was awarded several intramural grants to support her research while at the University of Arizona and served as the site principal investigator for a funded neoadjuvant chemotherapy trial (I-SPY2) while at that institution.


Year STOP CANCER Award was received: 2013 Marni Levine Memorial Seed Grant


Description of research performed: Dr. Lang studies the molecular profiling of circulating tumor cells in breast cancer. She has developed a novel strategy to isolate rare cancer cells in the bloodstream that are shed by a primary tumor. After capturing these cells from breast cancer patient’s peripheral blood via a simple blood draw she can perform sophisticated molecular biology studies to characterize the biology of these cells in a detailed fashion. Dr. Lang seeks to study if profiling circulating tumor cells can lead to personalized cancer care by studying the very cells that have the potential to spread.


Results of research: Dr. Lang has established a method that allows for isolation of pure populations of circulating tumor cells from all types of breast cancers. Her laboratory has demonstrated in proof of principle data that we can perform detailed studies such as microarrays or Next Generation Sequencing of these cells to get a better understanding of their biology.

STOP CANCER is committed to funding the most promising and innovative scientists in their early research of all forms of cancer prevention, treatment, cures and subsequent clinical applications. STOP CANCER works primarily with local National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers and other qualified institutions in the United States to carry out its mission.

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