The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) awarded Julie R. Palmer, ScD, the AACR Distinguished Lecture on the Science of Cancer Health Disparities, funded by Susan G. Komen. Dr. Palmer was recognized for her work as a cancer epidemiologist who has devoted most of her career to investigating the etiology of cancer in African American women.
She was honored at the 10th AACR Conference on The Science of Cancer Health Disparities in Racial/Ethnic Minorities and the Medically Underserved, held September 25–28 in Atlanta. Dr. Palmer is Professor of Epidemiology at Boston University School of Public Health, Associate Director of the Slone Epidemiology Center at Boston University, and Associate Director for Population Sciences for the Boston University–Boston Medical Center.
A major goal of Dr. Palmer’s research program is reduction of breast cancer mortality in young African American women by identification of modifiable factors that influence the development of hormone receptor–negative breast cancer. Her research has provided convincing evidence that breastfeeding reduces the risk of hormone receptor–negative breast cancer and that, in the absence of breastfeeding, higher parity is associated with an increased risk of hormone receptor–negative disease. She is now assessing the possible interaction of those factors with genetic variants in pathways related to inflammation and hormone metabolism.
Dr. Palmer has also led work to develop an effective risk-prediction tool for breast cancer in African American women. ■