In October 2015, Paraic A. Kenny, PhD, became the second director of the Oncology Research Laboratory at the Kabara Cancer Research Institute. Dr. Kenny was previously an associate professor in the Department of Developmental & Molecular Biology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in Bronx, New York. He is an internationally recognized expert in the use of sophisticated three-dimensional culture and models to discover and understand the mechanisms leading to breast cancer development, and in devising new approaches for breast cancer therapy. Dr. Kenny’s research is focused on understanding the key signaling defects that drive the main subtypes of human breast cancer and understanding the contribution of the microenvironment to breast cancer initiation and progression, as well as the identification and validation of novel therapeutic targets in triple-negative breast cancer, with a strong focus on the role of GRB7
in this disease.
Also joining the Kabara Cancer Research Institute Laboratory in October 2015 was cancer researcher Sunny Guin, PhD. Dr. Guin uses functional genomic and metabolomic screens—research methods that are new to Gundersen—to identify new driver genes of tumor progression and metastasis in bladder, kidney, ovarian, and lung cancers. He was previously with the University of Colorado Denver.
Drs. Kenny and Guin were joined in early 2016 by a postdoctoral fellow, Kristopher A. Lofgren, PhD. The postdoctoral fellowship position is funded by the Norman L. Gillette Jr. Breast Cancer Research Fellowship, established by Don and Norma Vinger, their sons, and the Norman Jr. family in 2005. Proceeds from the Foundation's annual Steppin’ Out in Pink walk helped to fully fund the endowment to make this fellowship possible. Steppin’ Out in Pink also provides ongoing financial support of our breast cancer research—both in the laboratory and clinical studies. The Kabara Cancer Research Institute, established by the late Dr. Jon Kabara and his wife, Betty, in 2009, funds Dr. Kenny’s position.
Gundersen Medical Foundation supports basic research in hematology and oncology. In addition to breast cancer research, the laboratory conducts research in a variety of other cancers and blood disorders.