This week, Baylor College of Medicine announced that one of its faculty members, Dr. Mothaffar Rimawi, has been selected to receive the C. Kent Osborne Award for Medical Excellence for his outstanding contributions to breast cancer research, advocacy and patient care.
Dr. Rimawi is a board certified medical oncologist specializing in breast cancer care and research. He is the medical director and director of clinical research at Baylor’s Lester and Sue Smith Breast Center and the Smith Clinic/ Ben Taub General Hospital. He is also the co-leader of the breast program at Baylor’s Dan L Duncan Cancer Center.
Dr. Rimawi’s research is focused on translating laboratory findings to the clinic to develop new treatments, and then taking clinical findings and materials back to the lab to study them with other scientists. His dream is to “create a world free of the pain and suffering from breast cancer and he works tirelessly every day towards making that dream a reality.”
In a University press release announcing the award, Dr. Matthew Ellis, director of the Smith Breast Center, said in praise of his colleague, “Dr. Rimawi is a great credit to the breast center, and thoroughly deserves this award. “His clinical care and devotion to clinical research is exemplary.”
His research focuses on translating laboratory findings to the clinic to develop new treatments, and then taking clinical findings and materials back to the lab to study them with other scientists.
Dr. Rimawi completed his residency and fellowship training at Baylor before becoming a full-time faculty member in 2005. During his time as a Fellow, he initiated a project that is currently being studies in clinical trials throughout the country including at Baylor. He has continued his research efforts as a faculty member and his current contributions to the field include:
- Studying a protein called HER2, which is overexpressed in 20 to 25 percent of breast cancers, and drives the cancer cells’ growth and proliferation.
- Studying a cellular pathway to attack the HER2 with multiple different targeted drugs that do not include chemotherapy, potentially decreasing the negative impact to patient’s quality of life.
- Clinical trials have so far shown some women may benefit from this combination of targeted treatment without chemotherapy.
In an explanation of what this award means to him, Dr. Rimawi, stated, “I’m honored to receive this award and proud to be a member of a team that works tirelessly every day to eliminate the pain and suffering of breast cancer.”
The award, which is named for Dr. Rimawi’s mentor Dr. Kent Osborne — currently director of the NCI-designated Dan L. Duncan Cancer Center at Baylor — will be presented at the 2015 Neiman Marcus Stiletto Strut and Luncheon Sept. 25, one of the center’s largest fundraising events.
For more information on the luncheon click here.
The Lester and Sue Smith Breast Center at Baylor College of Medicine is devoted to improving the lives of patients with breast cancer through excellence in medical and surgical care, clinical research and fundamental studies into the nature of the disease.
Our clinical programs include a deep commitment to service in the Harris Heath System where we are grateful to Lester and Sue Smith for their investment in the Breast Center. This has greatly facilitated our ability to impact the lives of a racially diverse population of patients with or at risk from breast cancer. Our clinical research program is also very active at the Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center and the Baylor outpatient clinic.
Our extensive laboratory research program is focused on the development of new treatments and we are actively studying new approaches to the treatment of triple negative breast cancer and estrogen receptor positive disease. For HER2 positive disease, we are studying low toxicity approaches where we may be able to achieve excellent outcomes with simpler drug regimens. Fundamentally we believe that new approaches to early detection, prevention and treatment will stem from scientific advances driven by the study of our patients experiences with breast cancer and the biological processes that are unleashed when a normal breast cell become malignant and then transforms into a lethal systemic and drug resistant disease.