Cancer Pioneer to Address Graduates

Dr. Lisa Carey, associate professor of medicine and UNC Breast Center medical director, will deliver the December Commencement address, Chancellor Holden Thorp ’86 has announced.

Thorp will preside at the Dec. 20 ceremony at 2 p.m. in the Dean E. Smith Center.

Thorp chose Carey in consultation with the University’s Commencement Speaker Selection Committee, which is made up of an equal number of students and faculty.

Dr. Lisa Carey.

Dr. Lisa Carey (Photo UNC News Services)

“I think that this year, with the N.C. Cancer Hospital coming on line, it’s the perfect opportunity for Lisa, who is a pioneer in the breast cancer field and a great role model, to share her message with our students,” Thorp said.

Carey joined the UNC faculty in 1998 and has served as the director of the UNC Breast Center since 2003. After graduating from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in 1990, Carey was a resident in internal medicine and then a fellow in oncology from 1990 to 1997 at the school. She earned her master of science in clinical research at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health in 1998. She is faculty member in the UNC School of Medicine and a clinical faculty member in UNC’s Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Her research focuses on breast cancer, particularly why younger, premenopausal, black women are more likely to develop aggressive types of breast cancer. Carey also is involved in evaluating the use of specific tumor markers as predictors of response to new chemotherapy agents. Carey is the author or co-author of more than 70 manuscripts and book chapters.

Carey is involved in a number of clinical and laboratory studies, including a multi-institutional trial sponsored by the National Cancer Institute examining the genetic and molecular markers in breast cancer as predictors of response to chemotherapy. She is the principal investigator of a collaborative study investigating genes that might interact with other genes or with the environment to impact a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer and several clinical trials testing novel targeted treatments for breast cancer subtypes.

For her work, Carey was won a Doris Duke Clinical Scientist Award in 1999 and a career development award from the National Cancer Institute in 2000. In 2008, Carey was one of 15 new inductees into the Johns Hopkins University Society of Scholars, recognizing her work with UNC colleagues to identify and tailor treatment for molecular subtypes of breast cancer.

“My research owes so much to the help I have received from my UNC colleagues,” Carey said. “I hope I can inspire a new class of Tar Heels to take with them the very special spirit of collaboration that exists here and keep it alive in their professional and personal lives.”

Carey will continue Carolina’s tradition of faculty speakers at December commencement.

Parking for commencement will be available in the Manning and Bowles lots and the Business School and Craige parking decks. A reception on the concourse will follow the ceremony.

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