Dr Veena N Rao

Dr Veena N Rao Receives Pink Frog Legacy

Dr Veena N Rao

Dr Veena N Rao is a passionate as well as a dedicated scientist who has been sorting out the mysteries of the BRCA1 gene and its role in breast and ovarian cancer for more than 20 years. Her persistent research and studies have been acknowledged at different levels and by various organizations. Recently, she was chosen for the Pink Frog Legacy Award by the Pink Frog Foundation at its 10th Annual Pink Frog Affair. The organization honored her as an acknowledgement of her research on breast cancer.

Dr Rao is a Professor and Co-Director of the Cancer Biology Program in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia. The focus of her research is on the role of the BRCA1 gene in breast and ovarian cancer in varied populations, including triple-negative breast cancers (TNBC) that are more dominant among African American women.  She was the first to find evidence that BRCA1a brings cell death in breast cancer-affected cells.

She has got a patent for BRCA1 function-based tests, which can be used to lower the risk for TNBC in women. After full development, this technology along with BRCA1 genetic testing will create a sea change in the early detection of hereditary TNBC. 

Dr Rao got her Master’s Degree of Science in Biochemistry and PhD in Biochemistry from Osmania University, India.  Her postdoctoral training with a Fellowship in Molecular Biology was completed at the University of California, Berkeley, and she also received a Fellowship in Human Genetics at Yale University School of Medicine.

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