Conquer Cancer announces 2023 Gianni Bonadonna Breast Cancer Research Fellowship Recipient

Vicki Kilpatrick
Headshot of Dr. Eleanor Taranto. She is smiling facing forward against a gray background and has shoulder-length brown hair, and is wearing a black blazer over a white blouse with a necklace.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Conquer Cancer®, the ASCO Foundation, is pleased to award the 2023 Gianni Bonadonna Breast Cancer Research Fellowship to Eleanor Taranto, MD for her research project “QuantifyHER” which will evaluate a new set of bioassays to further quantify HER2 expression in HER2-low metastatic breast cancer and thereby improve the accuracy of diagnosis. This study aims to better optimize patient selection for Trastuzumab-deruxtecan (also called Enhertu) and other HER2-targeted therapies, and may validate a new, more sensitive strategy to assess tumor marker expression outside of the HER2 space.

Dr. Taranto is a second-year hematology/oncology fellow at the University of Pennsylvania, where she is also chief fellow. Her career goals include providing compassionate and cutting-edge care to patients with cancer; improving access to clinical trials; advancing clinical trial development; and working to enhance disease screening and surveillance.

After graduating with honors from The University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine, Dr. Taranto completed her internal medicine residency at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, where she conducted research assessing the utility of circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) to monitor and predict disease status in patients with lymphoma. Now, with HER2-targeted therapies showing promise for treating breast and other types of cancer, questions have arisen about how best to characterize HER2 status. Dr. Taranto’s current research goal is to better predict which patients will benefit from HER2-targeted therapies. She also hopes to contribute to the growing body of research around disparities in clinical trial enrollment and to help address barriers to clinical trial access.

Dr. Taranto was selected by Angela DeMichele, MD, MSCE, the recipient of the 2023 Gianni Bonadonna Breast Cancer Award and Lecture (Awardee). The Award and Fellowship were established in 2007 to honor the achievements of Gianni Bonadonna, MD. Dr. Bonadonna was a pioneer in the field of cancer research whose groundbreaking milestones in breast cancer treatment and Hodgkin’s disease opened new avenues for improving survival.

The fellowship provides $50,000 in funding to support an early-career investigator committed to conducting breast cancer research under the mentorship of the Awardee.

The Gianni Bonadonna Breast Cancer Award and the Gianni Bonadonna Breast Cancer Research Fellowship are funded through Conquer Cancer with generous support from GlaxoSmithKline Oncology.