PA Breast Cancer Coalition Honors UPCI Researcher

By: Jennifer C. Yates

The Pennsylvania Breast Cancer Coalition (PBCC) came to the UPMC CancerCenter’s  Hillman Cancer Center today to honor a researcher for her work and stress the importance of donating money to cancer research. 

Pat Halpin-Murphy, president and founder of the group, presented a $50,000 research grant to Hannah Rabinowich, Ph.D, a researcher with the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, for her research titled, “A Novel Toggle Mechanism between Apoptosis and Autophagy in the Service of Breast Cancer Therapy.” This is the third time Dr. Rabinowich has received an award from the group. 


The money is part of the PBCC’s “Refunds for Research” Program, which has awarded more than $3 million in grants to outstanding researchers across the state.  




“There is something that you can do to make a difference,” Halpin-Murphy said, asking those in the crowd to donate their Pennsylvania tax refund to breast cancer research.  


A breast cancer survivor, Halpin-Murphy is a native of Philadelphia who served as an advisor to Gov. Robert P. Casey, U.S. Sen. Harris Wofford and U.S. Secretary of Labor Robert Reich. 
She is a gubernatorial appointee to the Pennsylvania Cancer Advisory Board and serves as an Advocate Member on the Board of Directors for the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project (NSABP) and NRG Oncology. In addition, she chairs the NSABP Patient Advisory Board which reviews new proposals and protocols for clinical trials.  She served on the University of Pennsylvania Breast Cancer Advocacy Board for its P2 trial and on the Patient Advocacy Committee of the Coalition of National Cancer Cooperative Groups, Inc.