February 20, 2005

Olivia Fermano
(215) 349-5653


Penn Abramson Cancer Center Researcher Presents at AAAS Annual Meeting On the
Implications of Genetic Research on Cancer Prevention

Presentations: Sunday, February 20th, 8:30 – 11:30 a.m.
Press Briefings: 2 p.m. in the Taft Room
Marriott Wardman Park Hotel, Mezzanine Level

(Philadelphia, PA) Timothy R. Rebbeck, Ph.D., Director of the Cancer Epidemiology and Risk Reduction Program of the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania, will be presenting “Genetic Screening and Cancer Risk Reduction: BRCA1 and BRCA2 ” at the 2005 AAAS Annual Meeting in Washington, DC, being held this Thursday through Monday, February 17-20th.

As part of the Sunday symposium “Cancer Screening and Its Impact on Cancer Mortality,” Rebbeck will discuss the implications of genetic research in cancer prevention. “We have acquired vast amounts of information about the human genome, but what does it mean?” asks Rebbeck. “How can we apply this information into better understanding a woman’s risk of breast cancer or ovarian cancer? And perhaps most importantly, how can we use knowledge of the human genome to improve cancer treatment and prevention?”

According to Rebbeck, the impact of the human genome initiatives will only be realized if we can use this information to identify cancer susceptibility genes that are truly causal and minimize the potential for spurious relationships. This requires the proper development and application of approaches that address the complex genetic and environmental causes of human cancer, and the utilization of appropriate methods to translate this information into cancer prevention and treatment options.

Rebbeck, a Professor of Biostatistics and Epidemiology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, will be available to discuss the promise of the human genome for improving human health and disease during the 2 p.m. news briefing on Sunday, February 20th.


The Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania was established in 1973 as a center of excellence in cancer research, patient care, education and outreach. Today, the Abramson Cancer Center ranks as one of the nation’s best in cancer care, according to U.S. News & World Report, and is one of the top five in National Cancer Institute (NCI) funding. It is one of only 39 NCI-designated comprehensive cancer centers in the United States. Home to one of the largest clinical and research programs in the worlds, the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania Has 275 active cancer researchers and 250 Penn Physicians involved in cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment.

PENN Medicine is a $2.7 billion enterprise dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and high-quality patient care. PENN Medicine consists of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine (founded in 1765 as the nation’s first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System (created in 1993 as the nation’s first integrated academic health system).

Penn’s School of Medicine is ranked #3 in the nation for receipt of NIH research funds; and ranked #4 in the nation in U.S. News & World Report’s most recent ranking of top research-oriented medical schools. Supporting 1,400 fulltime faculty and 700 students, the School of Medicine is recognized worldwide for its superior education and training of the next generation of physician-scientists and leaders of academic medicine.

Penn Health System is comprised of: its flagship hospital, the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, consistently rated one of the nation’s “Honor Roll” hospitals by U.S. News & World Report; Pennsylvania Hospital, the nation's first hospital; Presbyterian Medical Center; a faculty practice plan; a primary-care provider network; two multispecialty satellite facilities; and home health care and hospice.

This release is available online at http://www.uphs.upenn.edu/news/News_Releases/feb05/RebbeckAAAS.htm