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For Immediate Release

Media Contact: Theresa Green (405) 833-9824 cell

Stephenson Cancer Center Welcomes New Breast Cancer Researcher 

Oklahoma City - The Peggy and Charles Stephenson Cancer Center at the University of Oklahoma welcomes a new breast cancer researcher this month. Takemi Tanaka, Ph.D., will be appointed an Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust Cancer Research Scholar at the Center in recognition of the Trust’s efforts to reduce the burden of cancer in the state by supporting innovative research. 

Tanaka’s work focuses on the development of new and personalized therapeutic approaches for the prevention and treatment breast and other cancers. Her lab is working on development of a novel therapeutic strategy to block the migration of tumor cells in the body. She also has worked on preparing and modifying nanoparticles that can selectively deliver therapeutic agents to cancer cells.

“Dr. Tanaka’s focus on developing a personalized medicine approach to inhibit the growth and metastasis of tumor cells in breast and other cancers will greatly enhance our team of drug development researchers. Her expertise in tumor immunology and nanomedicine also will be a tremendous asset to the center,” said Dr. Robert Mannel, director of the Stephenson Cancer Center. 

Tanaka will hold an academic appointment in the Department of Pathology at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. Her research has been supported by competitively-awarded grants from the National Cancer Institute, the Department of Defense, the Pennsylvania Breast Cancer Coalition and the American Cancer Society. She brings a grant portfolio of almost $2 million to Oklahoma. 

About the Peggy and Charles Stephenson Cancer Center

As Oklahoma’s only comprehensive academic cancer center, the Stephenson Cancer Center at the University of Oklahoma is raising the standard of cancer care in the state through research and education. In partnership with the Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust, the Stephenson Cancer Center is decreasing the burden of cancer in Oklahoma by supporting innovative laboratory, clinical and populations-based research. The Cancer Center has over 150 research members who are conducting more than 100 cancer research projects at institutions across the state. This research is supported by more than $25 million in annual funding from sponsors that include the National Cancer Institute and the American Cancer Society.  For additional information, please visit

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