Donita C. Brady, Ph.D.

Donita Brady
Assistant Professor
Department of Cancer Biology
University of Pennsylvania
421 Curie Blvd.
BRBII/III Room 612
City, State, ZIP
Philadelphia, PA 19104
(215) 573-9705
[email protected]
Research field
Cancer Biology
Award year


My research explores the role that copper plays in activating proteins that can drive the formation of tumors. Although metals such as copper and iron are essential for human health, their overabundance has been linked to disorders such as Huntington's, Parkinson's, and Alzheimer's diseases. As a postdoctoral fellow, I discovered that some cancers also rely on copper to thrive: The metal boosts the activity of proteins involved in promoting cell proliferation. Now, I will explore where the excess copper is coming from and how it interacts with proteins to drive cell division. I will also search for other proteins that rely on copper to enhance their activity—particularly those that have been shown to play a role in the development of cancer. These findings could lead to a novel form of anticancer therapy based on drugs that can sequester excess copper.

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