Cathrin Brisken, MD, PhD

Currently an Associate Professor of Life Sciences at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL) and a Team leader at Breast Cancer Now, Institute of Cancer Research, London, she coordinates a team of researchers who focus on the highly complex interplay between hormones and the different cell types of the breast which leads to cancer development.

Dr. Brisken received her MD and her PhD degree in Biophysics from the Georg August University of Göttingen, Germany. She completed her postdoctoral work in cancer biology with Dr. R.A. Weinberg at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research in Cambridge, MA, USA. She previously held appointments at the Cancer Center of the Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston and the Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research (ISREC).

Going beyond the common practice of growing cells in culture dishes to mimic cancer development, Dr Brisken focuses on the more complex research within living organisms. Mice are the preferred model, as their mammary glands are readily accessible for complex experimentation. Combined with the use of xenotransplantation of human tissue samples, this ensures that the research replicates cancer development in humans as accurately as possible, which is key to understanding the mechanisms of this illness and to finding effective, personalised treatment. 

Find out more about Dr Brisken’s team and research focus here.