Donita Brady, who is currently a Senior Research Associate at the Duke University School of Medicine, has been named Penn’s seventh Presidential Professor. Effective July 1, she will become the Presidential Assistant Professor of Cancer Biology at the Perelman School of Medicine.

“Rarely does a young scientist come along who is as impressive, as accomplished, and as innovative as Donita Brady,” Penn President Amy Gutmann said in a press release Wednesday. “Her discoveries have already opened new doors in cancer research, and we are proud to welcome her to our Department of Cancer Biology.”

Brady, a graduate of Radford University who received her PhD in Pharmacology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, has conducted groundbreaking research on the relationship between copper and cancer. Along with a team of researchers at Duke, Brady found that lessening the body’s supply of copper stops the growth of certain kinds of cancers.

“Dr. Brady’s exceptional work so early in her career makes clear that she is poised to advance the boundaries of our knowledge of cancer – and our ability to treat it,” J. Larry Jameson, Dean of the Perelman School of Medicine, said the same press release. “We welcome her and are excited to watch her discover new pathways.”

The Presidential Professorships were first established at Penn in 2011 as part of the University’s Action Plan for Faculty Diversity and Excellence. Funded in part by a $2 million grant from The Pew Charitable Trusts, the professorships aim to help recruit accomplished and diverse faculty members at all levels.

Brady is excited to begin the next chapter of her career at Penn.

“It’s truly an honor to be appointed as a Presidential Professor at the University of Pennsylvania,” Brady said in an email. “I am enthusiastic about joining a group of scientifically innovative and collegial faculty within the Department of Cancer Biology and the larger community at Penn.”

“It’s a unique opportunity to begin my independent career at an institution with such a rich and vibrant history across many fields,” she added.

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