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PNC, UPCI Award First-Ever Director’s Distinguished Scholar Award


An assistant professor of molecular genetics and biochemistry with the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Kara Bernstein, Ph.D., has been awarded the first-ever PNC/University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI) Director’s Distinguished Scholar Award. The award will be given tonight during the UPCI and UPMC Cancer Centers annual gala.

As one of UPCI’s valued partners, PNC understands the importance of recruiting and retaining exceptional cancer researchers who foster innovation and discovery. The establishment of this award represents PNC’s investment in the next generation of cancer researchers.

“The Hillman Cancer Center is home to brilliant researchers and physicians who work together to find new and improved treatments for patients,” said Sy Holzer, president of PNC Bank for Pittsburgh and western Pennsylvania. “In order to continue working toward a future without cancer, we need to retain the talent we have and recruit the brightest from the next generation. Dr. Bernstein’s research shows tremendous promise, and PNC is delighted to help support her work.”

Dr. Bernstein received her Ph.D. in 2006 from Yale University and conducted her post-doctorate research at Columbia University. She seeks a better understanding of the biological processes related to cancer, with a focus on DNA. Dr. Bernstein’s lab studies how double-strand breaks in DNA are repaired. Understanding this process will advance understanding of tumor formation and could lead to the development of new cancer treatments.

“On behalf of the UPCI and UPMC Cancer Centers family, I would like to congratulate Dr. Bernstein,” said Nancy E. Davidson, M.D., director, UPCI and UPMC Cancer Centers. “Her dedication to understanding the role of DNA repair proteins reflects our institution’s overall conviction that great science translates into exceptional medicine. I’d also like to thank PNC for its continued investment in cancer research.”