Angela Hartley Brodie, PhD

Angela Hartley Brodie, PhD is professor of pharmacology and experimental therapeutics at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and an internationally recognized researcher at the University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center. Dr. Brodie is renowned for her groundbreaking work in the development of aromatase inhibitors used in the treatment of breast cancer.

Among her many awards are the prestigious Charles F. Kettering Prize from the General Motors Cancer Research Awards in 2005, and the Dorothy P. Landon-AACR Prize for Translational Cancer Research in 2006, which recognizes "seminal contributions to our understanding of cancer through basic and translational research."

Aromatase inhibitors help to prevent recurrence of breast cancer in postmenopausal women by reducing the level of estrogen in the body, thereby cutting off the fuel that promotes the growth of cancer cells. The drugs are proving to be significantly more effective than the standard breast cancer drug, tamoxifen, which stops working after five years.

Dr. Brodie began developing this novel approach of targeting the enzyme aromatase to inhibit the synthesis of estrogen in the early 1970s, initially working with her husband, Harry Brodie, Ph.D., a chemist. She went on to develop formestane, the first aromatase inhibitor to be used to treat breast cancer patients. Released for worldwide use in 1994, it was the first new agent in a decade designed to treat breast cancer. Her work paved the way for the development of other aromatase inhibitors, which are now prescribed for women around the world.

"Dr. Brodie's pioneering work in developing aromatase inhibitors represents a major scientific achievement that has helped to save thousands of lives worldwide," says Kevin J. Cullen, MD, director of the University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center and professor of medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. "This new class of drugs represents arguably the most important advance in the treatment of breast cancer in recent years."

Dr. Brodie has expanded her research into prostate cancer and is now developing steroidal compounds that target key enzymes in the production of androgens, or male hormones, which play a role in recurrence of the cancer. She has received numerous other awards, including the Brinker Award for Scientific Distinction from the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation in 2000, and has published nearly 200 papers in peer-reviewed scientific journals