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Temple University and Fox Chase Cancer Center Researchers Awarded $200,000 in Grants From PA Breast Cancer Coalition

News April 25, 2024

Doctors Borriello and Goldberg receive the research grant check

PHILADELPHIA (April 19, 2024) — Lucia Borriello, PhD, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Cancer and Cellular Biology at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University, and Iyad Obeid, PhD, an Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the College of Engineering at Temple University, each received $100,000 research grants today from the PA Breast Cancer Coalition (PBCC).

“I am honored to receive this award from such a prestigious organization that is focused on fighting breast cancer,” said Borriello, who is also a member of the Cancer Signaling and Microenvironment Research Program at Fox Chase Cancer Center. Her research focuses on understanding how the tumor microenvironment, which consists of normal cells in the immediate vicinity of cancer cells, promotes breast tumor dormancy and metastasis.

Faculty members celebrate the presentation of the research grant checks

Borriello plans to use the PBCC funding to determine how dormant cancer cells escape the toxicity of chemotherapy treatments, which can lead to stage IV metastatic breast cancer after treatments. Her research will study the mechanisms of chemoresistance and aims to develop more targeted treatment options and hopefully prevent recurrence for breast cancer patients.

Borriello stressed that nothing ever comes from just one principal investigator. “This award reflects a unique and wonderful supportive and collaborative environment at Temple and Fox Chase. This award absolutely would not have been possible without the support of colleagues and mentors,” she said.

Obeid, co-principal investigator Joseph Picone, PhD, and their team plan to use artificial intelligence to analyze cancer biopsy results to create more efficient reports for pathologists. The AI will estimate the stage of any cancers detected and provide supporting evidence for the pathologist to consider.

“I’m very grateful for this funding from PBCC, which will allow us to push our research in biomedical signal processing and biomedical data analytics in new directions,” said Obeid, who also holds a secondary appointment in Temple’s Bioengineering Department.

Formed in 1993 by a group of breast cancer survivors, the PBCC advocates for the over 14,000 women in Pennsylvania diagnosed every year with breast cancer and serves as a resource for the hundreds of thousands more women currently living with the disease. PBCC does this through statewide educational programming and legislative advocacy. It has awarded more than $5.5 million to outstanding cancer researchers through its Research Grants Initiative.


About the Lewis Katz School of Medicine
Founded in 1901, the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University attracts students and faculty committed to advancing individual and population health through culturally competent patient care, research, education, and service. The School confers the MD degree; MS and PhD degrees in Biomedical Science; the MA in Urban Bioethics; the MS in Physician Assistant studies; a certificate in Narrative Medicine; a non-degree post-baccalaureate program; several dual degree programs with other Temple University schools; continuing medical education programs; and in partnership with Temple University Hospital, 40 residency and fellowship programs for physicians. The School also manages a robust portfolio of publicly and privately funded transdisciplinary studies aimed at advancing the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of disease -- with specialized research centers focused on heart disease, cancer, substance use disorder, metabolic disease, and other regional and national health priorities. To learn more about the Lewis Katz School of Medicine, please visit:

About the PA Breast Cancer Coalition

The PA Breast Cancer Coalition, a 501(c)3 organization, represents, supports, and serves breast cancer survivors and their families in Pennsylvania through educational programming, legislative advocacy, and breast cancer research grants. The PBCC is a statewide non-profit organization dedicated to finding a cure now…so our daughters don’t have to. For more information, please call 800-377-8828 or visit


Media Contact:

Lewis Katz School of Medicine/Fox Chase Cancer Center
Amy Merves

PA Breast Cancer Coalition
Natalie Kopp