Meet a PennMedicine Researcher

Susan M. Domchek, MD

Susan M. Domchek, MD

Susan M. Domchek, M​D, Basser Professor in Oncology, is the winner of this year's William Osler Patient Oriented Research Award.

Dr. Domchek is a leader in the field of breast cancer genetics and has built an exceptional record of achievement in clinical and translational research, teaching, and clinical care. Dr. Domchek’s research program is particularly focused on the clinical management of patients with BRCA1/2 mutations, and she is the executive director of Penn's Basser Center for BRCA. Often an expert spokesperson in the national media, Dr. Domchek’s research program focuses on the use of genetic testing to assess cancer risk precisely in order to optimize prevention and risk-reduction strategies. Her work has included studies on gene discovery, screening and prevention, as well as the long term psychological outcome of individuals undergoing genetic testing. Dr. Domchek also leads therapeutic clinical trials for patients with BRCA1/2-related cancers, recently demonstrating a significant clinical effect of novel PARP inhibitors in such patients - work that led to the FDA approval of olaparib for the treatment of BRCA1/2 mutation-associated ovarian cancer. She has explored the crucial link between how individuals undergoing genetic testing use this information to make decisions about their medical care, and is developing systematic ways to identify those in the population at large who are good candidates for genetic testing. Dr. Domchek's work is highly collaborative and truly multidisciplinary, incorporating health services, psychology, gynecology, epidemiology, radiology, and medical genetics. She is a highly sought after researcher, teacher, mentor, and doctor.