Oesterreich Lab News

June 2018

Steffi Oesterreich, PhD, has been appointed as the new Women’s Cancer Research Center (WCRC) Co-Director, replacing Adrian Lee, PhD, who has stepped down to focus on his appointment as Director of the University of Pittsburgh/UPMC Institute of Precision Medicine. The WCRC is a collaboration of Hillman and the Magee-Womens Research Institute that was first established in 2010, with Dr. Oesterreich as the WCRC Director of Education. Dr. Oesterreich will now work closely with WCRC Co-Director Ronald Buckanovich, MD, PhD, to sustain and grow the WCRC as a premier center for basic, translational, and clinical research in women’s cancers.

A Professor and Vice-Chair of Pharmacology & Chemical Biology in the School of Medicine, Dr. Oesterreich brings a wealth of leadership experience and breast cancer expertise to this position. Indeed, the Susan G. Komen Foundation selected her, together with other international leaders in the breast cancer field, to serve as a Komen Scholar and Advisor. Dr. Oesterreich previously served as the Chair of the NIH Tumor Cell Biology Study Section, and her research is currently funded by the National Cancer Institute, Department of Defense, and Pennsylvania Breast Cancer Coalition, Breast Cancer Research Foundation, in addition to Komen.

Congratulations Dr. Oesterreich on your new role as Co-Director of the WCRC and thank you Dr. Lee for your 8 years of service to the WCRC.


April 2018



March 2018







Pa. Breast Cancer Coalition Awards Two Researchers $100K In Grants


Oesterreich/Lee Lab fun outing!  Paintmonkey in the Waterfront


February 2018




“Investigation of EMT-like Phenotypes in Established and

Novel Model Systems of Invasive Lobular Breast Cancer”


December 2017

Dr. Oesterreich presented our lab’s work on Unique Biology of ILC in a Minisymposium on “Lobular Breast Cancer – Is it a Different Disease?”.



Dr. oesterreich enjoyed the chance to meet with breast cancer advocates from the Lobular Breast Cancer Alliance at SABCS, LBCA now has a website and they also showed an outstanding poster at SABCS!

 Kevin Levine presented his work on FGFR4 in a Poster Discussion at the 2017 SABCS

Annual WCRC Holiday Party 2017!


November 2017

Dr. Oesterreich hosts a Susan G. Komen for the Cure fundraiser, Plant Nite and raised over a thousand dollars!

October 2017


Annual WCRC Halloween Party fun!

Renee enters a great pink pumpkin to the Magee Pumpkin decorating contest on behalf of the Women’s Cancer Research Center

Thank you to Renee for decorating the beautiful pumpkin for breast cancer awareness month! Good Luck in the competition!



September 2017

September 22-23, 2017, Steffi travelled to Seattle, Washington to participate in the second annual Northwest Metastatic Breast Cancer Conference where the focus was ‘Living Well. Living Longer. Driving Change’.

Over 350 registrants participated in the event which included Lobular Cancer breakout sessions where Steffi presented ‘Lobular Breast Cancer 101’.

Further details can be found at: https://www.fredhutch.org/en/news/center-news/2017/09/highlights-northwest-metastatic-breast-cancer-conference.html

July 2017

Graduate student Ahmed Basudan selected to given an oral presentation at Gordon Research Conference

Congratulations to Ahmed who will present his research entitled “ESR1 Copy Number Amplifications and Imbalance in Metastatic Breast Cancer” at the 2017 Functional and Clinical Insight in Hormone Dependent Cancers Gordon Research Conference at the Grand Summit Hotel at Sunday River, Newry, ME from August 6-11, 2017.

May 2017

Congratulations to Emily and Kevin on their research awards at the Magee Women’s Annual Research Day in Reproductive Biology & Women’s Health 2017!

We are proud to congratulate graduate students Emily Harrington and Kevin Levine on their recent awards at the Magee Women’s Annual Research day! Emily won the first place fellow/graduate trainee award for her oral presentation entitled “Unique Tamoxifen Regulation of Snail in Invasive Lobular Carcinoma”. Kevin triumphed with the first place fellow/graduate trainee poster award for his poster presentation “Combination FGFR4 and ER-targeted therapy for invasive lobular carcinoma”.

Way to go Emily and Kevin!

Congratulations to Amir, Vaciry and others on their publication on characterization of ER mutations in breast cancer cells (Bahreini, Li et al, BCR, 2017).  Well done!

April 2017

Graduate student Vaciry Li was invited to give a talk at 2017 AACR conference!

Vaciry Li, a second year graduate students from Pharmacology program, was invited to give a talk titled “ESR1 mutation confer novel metastatic functions in genome-edited breast cancer model” at a minisypoisum seesion at this year’s AACR conference, which will be held from April 1st to 5th in Washington DC.

untitled             dsc_9854

March 2017

New grant: $100,000 award from MBCN!

untitledSteffi received a $100,000 Metastatic Breast Cancer Research Leadership Award from the Metastatic Breast Cancer Network (MBCN), a patient driven organization.  The research they fund will focus on improved understanding of metastases in patients with invasive lobular breast cancer (ILC).



February 2017

Steffi gave a talk at the Susan Love meeting

Steffi spoke at the Susan Love Meeting in Santa Monica about ILC.  She also enjoyed meeting up with Lori Petite, member of the ILC Advocacy Steering committee.


Congratulations to Nilgun and Sreeja’s new grants!

Sreeja has received a AACR Scholar-in-Training Awards and Nilgun has received the DOD grants to support their post-doc studies.

dsc_9828          dsc_9832

January 2017

Congratulations to Dr. Courtney Anderson for publishing a Clinical Cancer Research paper!

AACR journal Clinical Cancer Research recently released a paper titled “Active estrogen receptor-alpha signaling in ovarian cancer models and clinical specimens” in January this year. Our previous lab member Courtney Anderson was the first author of this paper.


Congratulations to Steffi for the award of Komen Scholar!

leesosamSteffi received the honor to serve as Komen Scholar – an international advisory groups which helps to guide Komen’s research and scientific program, education and advocacy work, and public health efforts in the US and abroad.





 The 1st International ILC Symposium was successfully held in Pittsburgh!

The 1st International ILC Symposium was a success.  It was attended by 100 researchers and physicians, and 30 advocates.  For more information, pls go to:  https://upci.upmc.edu/wcrc/ilcsymposium-info.cfm



Congrats to Ahmed for passing his PhD proposal defense!

Ahmed passed his PhD proposal defense on August 30 2016. Good luck on his projects!



Matt Sikora starts his own lab as an Assistant Professor at the University of Colorado.

Becky has started a new position as Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at Pitt.

Amir graduated (YEAH!), and is now back in his home country Iran.

Courtney graduated, and is now a Postdoctoral Scientist at AstraZeneca in Waltham, MA.

img_0346           img_1493            img_2837

Pittsburgh Penguins support breast cancer research!

Our research on ILC is funded by BCRF, which is supported by the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation.


in 2016, we were also fortunate to obtain funding for metastatic breast cancer from the Nicole Meloche Memorial Fund.  http://mageewomens.org/giving/my-magee-campaigns/


Congratulations to Emily and Kevin for their NIH training grants!

Kevin was awarded the F30 grants with the project titled “Combination FGFR4 and ER-targeted Therapy for Invasive Lobular Carcinoma

Emily was awarded the F31 grants with the project titled “Targeting the EMT-like Phenotype in Invasive Lobular Carcinoma.

dsc_9855          dsc_9909

Lab Fun Pictures

Lab Outings

Lab Parties

Lab Pets