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L. Richardson and Marilyn Jacobs Preyer Distinguished Professor for Breast Cancer Research Deputy Director of Clinical Sciences, Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center

Areas of Interest

Breast Cancer


Lisa A. Carey, MD, ScM, FASCO, is an experienced clinical/translational trialist, UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center Deputy Director for Clinical Science and co-Leader of the Breast Program, and co-Chair of the Breast Committee of the Alliance national cooperative group.

Lisa Carey’s research interests focus upon breast cancer, including examination of different subtypes of breast cancer, evaluation of new chemotherapy agents in early and metastatic breast cancer, and examination of tumor characteristics that predict response to therapy.

She has worked extensively with scientists across UNC Lineberger and the UNC Gillings Global School of Public Health to better understand and characterize the molecular subtypes of breast cancer so that we may develop better prevention and treatment strategies. With Drs. Perou and Millikan, she identified the elevated risk of the poor-prognosis basal-like breast cancer subtype in young African-American women. She is a world-wide expert in triple negative breast cancer, and led the first trial looking at a new drug regimen in this breast cancer subtype.

Her research spans the spectrum from early curative breast cancer to metastatic disease. She has worked extensively developing trials that use neoadjuvant, or preoperative, chemotherapy for breast cancer in order to address both clinical questions about the best regimens, as well as scientific questions regarding sensitivity or resistance to drugs. She led a large NCI-sponsored trial in HER2-positive breast cancer that examined dual HER2-targeting with two anti-HER2 drugs that found that while drug regimen was important in outcome, even more important were tumor characteristics such as subtype and evidence of immune cell activation. Based on this work, she has put together an international team looking at the molecular markers responsible this variation in response and survival, and her efforts as co-chair of the national cooperative group, Alliance, have resulted in two NCI trials examining these markers and optimizing treatment. In addition, she is actively involved in examining novel agents in metastatic breast cancer. Her Tumor Donation Program has contributed novel information regarding the genetic differences between the original primary breast cancer and the metastases in distant organs, and her HARMONY trial is examining how more biologic information might inform clinical decision-making in metastatic breast cancer. This work in part spawned the AURORA-US multicenter initiative furthering this examination of the molecular landscape of metastatic disease; she serves on the Steering Committee for that effort.

She serves in national leadership roles, including as a member of the National Cancer Institute Breast Cancer Steering Committee, Co-Chair of the NCI-sponsored Alliance Breast Committee, Co-Chair of the Translational Breast Cancer Research Consortium Steering Committee, and member of the Board of Directors of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

Awards and Honors 

  • Member, Board of Directors of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, 2020-present 
  • Fellow of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, 2019-present 
  • Member, Susan G. Komen Scientific Advisory Board, 2018-present 
  • UNC Healthcare System Excellence in Care Award, 2018 
  • Co-Chairperson, Breast Committee, Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology, 2016-present 
  • Inaugural Director, UNC Center for Triple Negative Breast Cancer, 2022 


Education and Training

  • UndergraduateWellesley College
  • Medical SchoolJohns Hopkins University – School of Medicine
  • ResidencyThe Johns Hopkins Hospital
  • FellowshipThe Johns Hopkins Hospital
  • Master of ScienceJohns Hopkins School of Public Health