The Basser Center for BRCA sponsors an annual scientific symposium, "BRCA1, BRCA2 and Beyond: An Update on Hereditary Cancer," which began in 2013 and is held every spring at the University of Pennsylvania. The symposium features BRCA experts from around the world and covers recent advances and future directions in BRCA research and clinical management of carriers. A highlight of the symposium is the Basser Global Prize presentation and keynote lecture by the awardee.

The Eighth Annual Basser Center Scientific Symposium

This virtual symposium featured Keynote speakers and Basser Global Prize awardees Douglas Easton, PhD, and Antonis Antoniou, PhD. A recap of their Global Prize presentation will be available shortly.

Previous Symposium Topics and Keynotes

May 7-8, 2019
The 2019 Symposium was held on Tuesday, May 7 and Wednesday, May 8, 2019 at the University of Pennsylvania featuring Keynote speaker and Basser Global Prize awardee Maria Jasin, PhD, from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. View the Facebook album, conference agenda, and prize presentation below.

May 22-23, 2018
Our annual scientific symposium was held on Tuesday, May 22 and Wednesday, May 23, 2018 at the University of Pennsylvania featuring Keynote speaker and Basser Global Prize awardee Professor Ashok Venkitaraman, MBSS, PhD from the University of Cambridge. View the Facebook album, conference agenda, and prize presentation.

May 4-5, 2017
The 2017 symposium featured keynote speaker, Basser Global Prize awardee, and cancer geneticist Steven Narod, MD, FRCPC, PhD (hon), FRSC, director of the Familial Breast Cancer Research Unit and a senior scientist at the Women’s College Hospital in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. View the Facebook album and conference agenda.

Narod is a world leader in the field of breast and ovarian cancer genetics, who has made significant contributions to the knowledge of how to assess cancer risk and reduce its mortality in BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers.

May 24-25, 2016
The 2016 symposium featured keynote speaker and Basser Global Prize winner David Livingston, MD from Dana Farber/Harvard Cancer Center. View the Facebook albumconference agenda, and Breakthroughs & Discoveries panel.

The primary focus of Livingston’s laboratory is to understand the fundamental mechanisms and steps by which inherited mutations in BRCA1/2 lead to breast and ovarian cancer. Such a deep understanding can then be applied to the development of alternative, non-invasive, and mechanism-driven prevention strategies.

May 11-12, 2015

The 2015 symposium’s featured keynote speaker and Basser Global Prize winner was human genetics expert Dr. Mary-Claire King, PhD, American Cancer Society Research Professor of Genetics and Medicine at the University of Washington. Dr. King has been a pioneer in the development of experimental and bioinformatics genomics tools to study common, complex human diseases and health conditions.

In 1990, Dr. King demonstrated that a single gene on chromosome 17q21 (which she named BRCA1) was responsible for breast and ovarian cancer in many families. Her discovery of BRCA1 revolutionized the study of numerous other common inherited diseases. View the Facebook album and conference agenda.

May 6-7, 2014

The 2014 symposium’s featured keynote speaker and Basser Global Prize winner was cancer biology and genetics expert Professor Alan Ashworth, FRS, Chief Executive Officer of the Institute for Cancer Research in London and leader of the Gene Function team in the ICR’s Breakthrough Breast Cancer Research Centre. Ashworth has been a pioneer in efforts to develop therapies to target cancer cells that contain BRCA1/2 mutations.

Ashworth’s laboratory focuses on using genetic principles to understand cancer biology and channel the findings into information to change the way patients are treated. His lab has been instrumental in the development of PARP inhibitor therapy, drugs which have shown great promise in attacking breast, ovarian and other cancers among individuals who carry BRCA1/2 mutations. View the Facebook albumconference agenda, video recaps and conference news online.

April 16, 2013

The inaugural Basser Scientific Symposium featured Penn faculty, such as Basser’s Executive Director, Dr. Susan Domchek, MD; Associate Professor of the Perelman School of Medicine, Dr. Roger Greenberg, MD, PhD; Director of the Cellular Therapy Tissue Facility of the Abramson Cancer Center, Dr. Daniel Powell, PhD; and more.

Guest speakers included Jorge Reis-Filho, MD, PhD, a surgical pathologist from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Michael Goggins, MD, professor of pathology at Johns Hopkins University, and Mark Robson, MD, Clinic Director of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center’s Clinical Genetics Service. View the conference agenda online.