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Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer honors IU physician scientist

  • Oct. 1, 2013

INDIANAPOLIS -- Bryan Schneider, M.D., a physician scientist at Indiana University School of Medicine, has been named the Vera Bradley Investigator in Oncology. 

Dr. Schneider is a breast cancer physician scientist who joined the school’s faculty in 2005 and conducts research in the Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer Research Laboratories at the Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center. He is one of nearly 40 members of the IU Simon Cancer Center’s breast cancer program, which is recognized for excellence in research by the National Cancer Institute.

“Bryan Schneider is the obvious choice to hold the Vera Bradley title. Through his collaborative spirit, passion for the work and pure brilliance, he personifies what makes the whole team great,” said Catherine Hill, executive director of the Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer.

Dr. Schneider’s research focuses on personalized medicine: giving the right medicine to the right patient at the right time based on genetic and other factors. With past Vera Bradley support, he has developed a first-of-its kind clinical study for women diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer, a very aggressive form of the disease.

Through a controlled scientific study, Dr. Schneider will test whether the use of DNA sequencing to identify specific disease drivers and to select treatments for women based on these genetic markers actually improves survival rates. And it will move the timing of Phase I clinical trials from the metastatic setting -- when all other options have failed -- to earlier in the disease process when there is the potential to cure women.

Dr. Schneider -- an associate professor of medicine and of medical and molecular genetics at the IU School of Medicine, a researcher at the IU Simon Cancer Center and associate director of the Indiana Institute for Personalized Medicine -- has already made a significant impact in the world of breast cancer research. In 2011, just six years into his career at the IU School of Medicine, his research was recognized as one of the top clinical cancer research advances that year by the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the largest and most prestigious organization of its kind in the world. Also in 2011, the Conquer Cancer Foundation of the American Society of Clinical Oncology named Dr. Schneider the recipient of the Advanced Clinical Research Award in Breast Cancer. Recipients are selected based on their unique patient-oriented approaches to research. He also is a recipient of the Conquer Cancer Foundation’s 2006 Career Development Award and 2002 and 2003 Merit Awards.

A native of Jasper, Ind., Dr. Schneider graduated summa cum laude from the University of Evansville. He then graduated from the IU School of Medicine, completing a residency in internal medicine and an extended fellowship in oncology that allowed him to concentrate his time in the research laboratory.

“It is a privilege and a great honor to hold the title of Vera Bradley Investigator,” Dr. Schneider said. “The enthusiasm and passion that Vera Bradley Foundation volunteers and professionals have for curing this disease inspires me as I work to help women live longer, healthier lives after a diagnosis of breast cancer.”                                              

About the Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer
The Foundation is celebrating its 15th year of funding the Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer Research Laboratories at the Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center in Indianapolis through a multi-year $20 million pledge. Since 1998, the Foundation has played an integral role in changing the face of breast cancer research by supporting 22 labs and nearly 40 researchers and clinicians who are leading major advancements in drug therapies and setting a world-wide standard. The Foundation receives funding through national events, a $1 million annual gift from Vera Bradley, Inc. (Nasdaq:VRA), and through donations on verabradley.org.

Michael Schug