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Dr. Julie Brahmer, MD, Named March LUNGevity Hero for Research in Groundbreaking Field of Immunotherapy


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Aliza Bran
(202) 414-0798

WASHINGTON, February 2015 – To kick off Women in History month, LUNGevity Foundation announces Dr. Julie Brahmer, MD, as the March LUNGevity Hero for her work in the field of immunotherapy for lung cancer patients.  Dr. Brahmer is a vocal advocate for lung cancer research, passionate doctor and professor of oncology, and innovative researcher.

Growing up in Nebraska, she watched her grandfather battle non-Hodgkin lymphoma.  As an eighteen-year-old, inspired by his struggle, she set the ambitious life goal of curing cancer.  She earned a medical degree from the University of Nebraska, did her residency at the University of Utah, and completed oncology training at Johns Hopkins University.  Dr. Brahmer has become an international leader in the field of immunotherapy for patients with lung cancer. She is the author of more than 90 scholarly articles and has spoken on immunology at events nationwide, including LUNGevity’s HOPE Summit.  She was recently named director of the Thoracic Oncology Program at the Kimmel Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins University in January, adding to her title of Associate Professor of Oncology.

Dr. Brahmer is best known for her research related to the phase one trial of the PD-1 inhibitor nivolumab, an immunotherapy drug that has shown remarkable promise for lung cancer patients.  The trial was concluded early when it met its endpoint with positive results two years ahead of schedule.

“At the time I started, in 2000, the field of lung cancer research was wide open.  Not a lot of people were interested, and there were no patient advocacy groups,” Dr. Brahmer shared. “I found lung cancer research exciting as I could make a difference for patients and for science.”

Not only does Dr. Brahmer organize the Multidisciplinary Symposium in Thoracic Malignancy and oversee a $35 million investment in the program, but she is also a strong advocate for lung cancer research.  She serves on the boards of several national foundations and speaks about the importance of the public perception and awareness of lung cancer, and the critical need to support future research.

In 2014, Dr. Brahmer became a member of LUNGevity’s scientific advisory board, sharing the goal of further advancing research into the early detection and treatment of lung cancer.  Her wide range of expertise has made her an asset to the LUNGevity team.

“LUNGevity Foundation is honored to name our accomplished scientific advisory board member Dr. Brahmer as the March LUNGevity Hero for her extraordinary research, support, and dedication to the groundbreaking and transformative field of immunotherapy,” said Andrea Ferris, president and chairman of LUNGevity Foundation. “LUNGevity is fortunate to be witnessing first-hand the extraordinary impact Dr. Brahmer’s work has had and will continue to have on those fighting the disease.  We are entering a revolutionary time for lung cancer research and Dr. Brahmer is at the forefront.”

For more on Dr. Brahmer, see the LUNGevity Heroes blog at www.lungevity.org/heroes-blog.

For more information on LUNGevity Foundation, please visit www.LUNGevity.org.

About Lung Cancer

  • 1 in 15 Americans will be diagnosed with lung cancer in their lifetime
  • More than 224,000 people in the U.S. will be diagnosed with lung cancer this year
  • About 60% of all new lung cancer diagnoses are among people who have never smoked or are former smokers
  • Lung cancer kills more people than the next three cancers (colorectal, breast, and pancreatic) combined
  • Only 17% of all people diagnosed with lung cancer will survive 5 years or more, BUT if it’s caught before it spreads, the chance for 5-year survival improves dramatically




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