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Professor Cathrin Brisken

Team Leader

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Professor Cathrin Brisken leads the Endocrine Control Mechanisms Team. Her research aims to understand how recurrent exposures to hormones contribute to breast cancer in order to better prevent and treat the disease. Team: Endocrine Control Mechanisms ORCID 0000-0002-6857-3230


Professor Cathrin Brisken obtained her MD and a PhD in Biophysics from the University of Göttingen, Germany. She did postdoctoral work at the Whitehead Institute, Cambridge, USA, where she began to genetically dissect the role of reproductive hormones in mouse mammary gland development and to elucidate how they control intercellular communication.

She held appointments at the Cancer Center of the Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School and the Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research in Lausanne before being appointed Associate Professor at EPFL. She served as Dean of the EPFL Doctoral School and is currently member of the AACR Women in Cancer Research Council, International Breast Cancer Study Group Biological Protocol Working Group, and the Pezcoller Symposia Scientific Committee. She cofounded the International Cancer Prevention Institute.

Professor Brisken's research focuses on the cellular and molecular underpinnings of estrogen, progesterone, and androgen receptor signalling in the breast and the respective roles of these hormones and hormonally active compounds in breast carcinogenesis. The aim is to understand how recurrent exposures to endogenous and exogenous hormones contribute to breast carcinogenesis in order to better prevent and treat the disease.

Outside of work she enjoys family life, languages, and swimming.