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Excellence Award For Dr. Veena Rao 


Atlanta: Dr. Veena Rao, a professor and co-director of the Cancer Biology Program, Georgia Cancer Coalition and a distinguished cancer scholar, Department of OB/GYN at the Morehouse School of Medicine was recently presented with the Award of Excellence in the Science category from the NAKA (North American Konkani Association) at the Konkani Sammelan 2008 held at Santa Clara, CA.

Dr. Rao was in the news recently after she obtained patents for the BRCA1 splice variants. In September 2007, Dr. Rao and her co investigators demonstrated for the first time using a gene therapy strategy that introducing BRCA1a protein into triple negative breast cancers, ovarian and prostate cancers stops tumor development. Triple negative breast cancers are more common among young African American women and Hispanic women and currently there are no effective treatments against these cancers.

Apart from being a cancer scientist, Dr Rao is also a teacher and mentor. Numerous students have worked in her laboratory from high school students doing summer projects to graduate, postdoctoral fellows and clinicians supported by various grant awards. She has received the Dean’s outstanding research award as well as distinguished mentor for the research initiative for scientific enhancement program at Morehouse School of Medicine. She was the convener for the workshop” Showcasing the Bench to Bedside Research” at the first Georgia Cancer Summit, conducted by the Georgia Cancer Coalition in Atlanta, Georgia. She was invited as a featured speaker by National Institutes of Health’s, National Cancer Institutes (NCI), and Diversity Training Branch Center to Reduce Cancer Health Disparities. Dr. Rao is a recipient of the 2005 Emerald’s Honor Senior Investigator award, 2006 Trail Blazer award by Minorities in Research, Science Spectrum Magazine, 2007 National Women of Color in Technology Research Leadership award and was also featured on the NCI website under the NCI Grantee Spotlights.

She acknowledged her success to her dedicated parents late Nagesh Rao and Rohini N. Rao, and thanked her husband, Dr Shyam Reddy and her children Vaishali Reddy and Avinash Reddy for their undeterred support. Dr. Rao said she has never forgotten her Indian roots which she endeavors to inculcate in her children. She and her family reside in Alpharetta, Georgia. .


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