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VICC’s Balko named a Susan G. Komen ‘Pink Tie Guy’

Dec. 10, 2015, 9:14 AM

Justin Balko, Pharm.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of Medicine and Cancer Biology, has been named a member of the 2016 class of Pink Tie Guys by the Greater Nashville Affiliate of Susan G. Komen, a nonprofit organization dedicated to breast cancer research and patient support.

Justin Balko, Pharm.D., Ph.D.

The Pink Tie Guys are community leaders in the corporate, philanthropy, sports, entertainment and medical arenas who have a personal connection to breast cancer and are committed to making a difference in the effort to find a cure for the disease.

Balko, who is director of Molecular Oncology in the Center for Cancer Targeted Therapies at Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center (VICC), has already received multi-year financial grants from Komen to support his breast cancer research.

“I am very honored to be included in this year’s class of Pink Tie Guys,” Balko said. “The Komen organization is a true leader in raising awareness about this deadly disease and providing important support for research that is already leading to improved therapies.”

Since the inception of the Cancer Center, Komen has provided more than $11 million in grant funding for 21 VICC investigators and 15 trainees in the areas of cancer research, disparities and intervention.

Balko earned his Doctor of Pharmacy degree from State University of New York, Buffalo, and received his Ph.D., from the University of Kentucky. He completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Vanderbilt in the laboratory of Carlos L. Arteaga, M.D., director of the Breast Cancer Program and director of the Center for Cancer Targeted Therapies at VICC. Balko joined the faculty in 2013.

He has already published important research about triple-negative breast cancer, an aggressive form of the disease which is difficult to treat.

The 2016 class of Pink Tie Guys will be recognized officially at the Pink Tie Party, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2016, from 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. at Jonathan’s Green Hills. The event will include dinner, cocktails and a silent auction. 2016 Pink Tie Guy and recording artist Chuck Wicks will host the event.

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