Lombardi Research

Nina Hyde Center

Nina Hyde reigned as fashion editor of The Washington Post for 18 years, from 1972 until her death in 1990 at the age of 57. An acclaimed reporter, she was said to cover a fashion even as others cover a war. Her good writing and deep thinking earned respect and accolades from colleagues at the paper, members of the fashion industry and readers.

As a journalist and an individual, Nina Hyde possessed a penetrating eye. She wrote about fashion as social history, revealing who we are and how we live. When breast cancer befell her, she saw her illness in a broad social context. Breast cancer, she said, was a national calamity besetting one in nine American women, and she challenged all Americans to fight back.

While struggling with unflagging good humor to save her own life, Nina Hyde reached out to educate and inform others. She fervently believed in the benefits of early detection and in research as the vehicle that would eventually provide a cure for breast cancer.

Nina Hyde did not live to see a cure, but she did rejoice in the establishment of the Nina Hyde Center for Breast Cancer Research, here at the Lombardi Cancer Center, founded by her long-time friends Ralph Lauren and Katharine Graham of The Washington Post.


The Nina Hyde Center promotes advanced breast cancer research at the Lombardi Cancer Center, a component of Georgetown University Medical Center.

Philanthropic donations to the Nina Hyde Center support one of the world's largest and most respected breast cancer research programs. Nearly 50 Lombardi scientists and physicians study breast cancer exclusively, seeking a cure. These researchers believe basic science and patient care go hand-in-hand, and they speedily translate breakthroughs engineered in the laboratory into new and better treatments for patients with breast cancer.

Recognizing Lombardi's leadership, the federal government, corporations, foundations and individuals each year provide Lombardi investigators with some $8 million for breast cancer research. About half of this money comes from federal grants. In 1996 federal officials took the unusual step of awarding Lombardi both of the government's two most prestigious multi-year, multi-million dollar, peer-reviewed breast cancer research grants.

Still, the need for funds outstrips the available resources. Peer-reviewed grants do not underwrite high-risk research initiatives that are just beginning. Funds donated to the Nina Hyde Center empower Lombardi scientists to pursue promising ideas still in their infancy. These gifts support the work that is most speculative and most likely to find a cure. Funds donated to the Nina Hyde Center also enable Lombardi's administration to encourage and retain the most gifted young researchers.

Learning more about breast cancer and speedily translating what they have learned into improved treatments are the goals Lombardi researchers pursue as they seek a cure. The Lombardi program focuses on what is known today and what will be learned about breast cancer diagnosis, treatment, and prevention in the early decades of the 21st century.