Breast Cancer Program
Dr. Robert Clarke
Robert Clarke, PhD, DSc
Professor of Oncology, Physiology and Biophysics
Dr. Robert Clarke assumed co-leadership of the Breast Cancer Program in 2006. He received a PhD and DSc in biochemistry from the Queen's University of Belfast in 1986 and 1999, respectively. Dr. Clarke is co-director of the Division of Molecular Endocrinology, Nutrition and Obesity in the Department of Oncology and is the newly appointed Dean of Research at Georgetown University Medical Center. He is an elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry and Royal Institute of Biology in the UK. Dr. Clarke is chair of the NIH Basic Science study section in complementary and alternative medicine and serves on the editorial boards of 12 journals including Cancer Research, Molecular Cancer Therapeutics, the British Journal of Cancer, and the Breast Cancer Research.
An internationally recognized leader in breast cancer research, Dr. Clarke studies how hormones (endogenous and exogenous) and related factors affect breast cancer, and how breast cancers become resistant to endocrine and cytotoxic therapies. He is currently working on the development and application of genomic and novel informatic methods in translational studies in both humans and experimental models. He has developed a series of hormone resistant breast cancer models that are now widely used in the field, and he continues to develop new experimental models. Dr. Clarke and his colleagues have recently identified a new molecular signaling network in breast cancer that involves several novel oncogenes and suppressor genes, and appears to contribute to the hormonal regulation of cell proliferation and apoptotic cell death. One of the key genes in this network, interferon regulatory factor-1 (IRF-1), was first implicated in affecting endocrine responsiveness and breast cancer cell survival in Dr. Clarke’s lab, and he and his colleagues have recently shown that IRF-1 may be a novel breast cancer suppressor gene.
Currently, Dr. Clarke leads two multinational molecular medicine studies in breast cancer, one funded by the National Institutes of Health and one by the Department of Defense. He also leads the caBIG team at Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center and is regularly invited to speak about his research at international and national meetings.
Dr. Claudine Isaacs
Claudine Isaacs, MD
Associate Professor of Medicine and Oncology
Dr. Claudine Isaacs assumed co-leadership of the Breast Cancer Program in 2001 as the clinical leader. She received her medical degree in 1987 from McGill University. Following her residency training at McGill, and a fellowship in the Division of Medical Oncology at Georgetown, she joined the faculty in the Departments of Medicine (Division of Medical Oncology) and Oncology. Dr. Isaacs' research interests include genetic testing, medical management, and prevention strategies for women at high risk of breast cancer. In addition, she has served as the PI of a variety of clinical trials in metastatic and early stage breast cancer. She is also a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.
Dr. Isaacs is the Medical Director of the Cancer and Assessment Risk Evaluation (CARE) program of the Cancer Control Program. She is also director of the Familial Cancer Registry shared resource at Lombardi. She was the Lombardi PI for the NSABP P01 Tamoxifen Prevention Trial, and she is now the PI for the NSABP P02 trial comparing Tamoxifen and Raloxifene. She served as the clinical PI of a collaborative study with the International Breast Cancer MRI Consortium examining the role of breast MRI and high-resolution ultrasound in genetically high-risk women. In addition, she recently completed an institution-based Phase III trial on paroxetine hydrochloride to control hot flashes. Dr. Isaacs is Co-Director of the Breast Cancer SPORE Clinical Program, where she is PI of a project to explore the utility of ductal lavage and PET scan to detect signs of early malignancy in her population of BRCA1 carriers.