UNC Breast Cancer and the Environment Research Program (UNC BCERP)


bcerp researchResearchers in the UNC BCERP seek to understand if environmental influences such as pregnancy and obesity affect a woman’s susceptibility to basal-like breast cancer through the following research aims.  They also work with the Community Partner to develop educational tools needed to help the North Carolina breast cancer community understand emerging research on breast cancer and breast cancer risk.


1. Identify whether obesity interacts with post-pregnancy changes in microenvironment to promote carcinogenesis using mouse models of basal-like breast cancer.

2. Identify changes induced by cell-cell communication between obese microenvironment and basal-like breast cancer using co-cultures.

3. Evaluate whether the phenotypic and gene expression markers induced by parity and obesity in experimental systems are also altered in the microenvironment of basal-like breast tumors in patients.