Julie Palmer, ScD, associate director of Boston University’s Slone Epidemiology Center, professor of epidemiology at Boston University School of Public Health, and associate director for population sciences at the BU-BMC Cancer Center, is the recipient of the 2017 American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Distinguished Lecture on the Science of Cancer Health Disparities funded by Susan G. Komen®.
Palmer received the award prior to delivering her presentation “Reducing racial disparities in breast cancer mortality: modifiable etiologic factors, risk prediction, and outcomes.”
The award recognizes an investigator whose novel and significant work has had or may have a far-reaching impact on the etiology, detection, diagnosis, treatment or prevention of cancer health disparities.
Palmer was honored for her work on the etiology of breast cancer in African American women. She is one of the original architects in designing and implementing the Slone’s Black Women’s Health Study and has served as a leader of the study since its launch in 1995. She spearheaded efforts to collect and use DNA from the study participants for analyses of genetic susceptibility.
A major goal of her research is the reduction of breast cancer mortality in young African American women by identification of modifiable factors that influence development of hormone receptor negative breast cancer. Her research has provided convincing evidence that breastfeeding reduces risk of hormone receptor negative breast cancer and that, in the absence of breastfeeding, higher parity is associated with an increased risk of receptor negative disease.
Palmer received her BA degree from Brown University, a MPH from Boston University School of Public Health and a ScD in epidemiology from the Harvard School of Public Health.
“I am honored to accept this award. It is my hope that my work will lead to prevention and earlier detection of breast cancer in African American women, and a reduction in the existing disparity in mortality from breast cancer,” said Palmer.