Vera Bradley Foundation Scholars

Scholars program attracts worldwide talent

Through the generous support of the Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer, the IU School of Medicine (IUSM) is training a new generation of breast cancer researchers.  Vera Bradley Foundation Scholars come from around the globe to collaborate with the IUSM faculty and each other to advance our understanding and improve care and outcomes for breast cancer patients. This unique program provides a team-based approach for postdoctoral researchers with diverse backgrounds in genomics, pharmacogenomics and informatics to engage in a multifaceted approach to exploring our most promising avenues for developing the most effective therapies and prevention strategies.

Meet the Scholars

Maria B. Padua, Ph.D.

“My goal as a Vera Bradley Foundation Scholar is to discover, develop and confirm new ways to stop cancer-promoting interactions between proteins. I am grateful for the opportunity to work at a distinguished research university among talented researchers.”

-- Khuchtumur Bumerdene, Ph.D.
  Dr. Samy Meroueh Laboratory
Maria B. Padua, Ph.D.

“Thanks to the support provided by the Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer, I am very fortunate to be a Vera Bradley Foundation Scholar. My passion is to elucidate the pathways to and within cancer cells that create metastasis. My goal is to discover clear indicators for new drugs, thus, offering hope to those afflicted by this devastating disease.”

-- Maria B. Padua, Ph.D.
    Hari Nakshatri Laboratory
Robin Paul, Ph.D.

“Data is driving how tumors are identified and treatments are developed. It’s exciting to contribute to this research, and I’m grateful to the Vera Bradley Foundation for the opportunity.”

-- Robin Paul, Ph.D.
   South India
   Dr. Milan Radovich Laboratory
Marelize Swart, Ph.D.

“I am very excited to join this research team as a Vera Bradley Foundation Scholar and deeply appreciative of funding support. My research interest is pharmacogenomics, and I am looking forward to working with the team to identify genetic determinants of response to breast cancer therapeutics to provide patients with the best treatment options for them.”

-- Marelize Swart, Ph.D.
   South Africa
   Todd Skaar Laboratory
Xi Wu, Ph.D.

“As a Vera Bradley Foundation Scholar, I want to understand how genetics determine toxicity to chemotherapy. My research should help to identify women who are at high risk for devastating chemotherapy-induced side effects and ultimately develop personalized therapy for breast cancer patients to avoid them. I’m grateful to the Vera Bradley Foundation for the opportunity.”

-- Xi Wu, Ph.D.
    Schneider Lab