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Committed to Ending Breast Cancer Through Research

Having lost a dear friend to breast cancer, Vera Bradley founders Patricia R. Miller and Barbara B. Baekgaard visited the IU Simon Cancer Center at IU School of Medicine in 1999 to learn about the breast cancer research program. After witnessing the sheer passion and shared energy for curing breast cancer at the center, Miller and Baekgaard were compelled to invest in the program. To date, the Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer has committed $35 million to breast cancer research at IU School of Medicine.

Funding Milestones

  • 1999-2003

    Vera Bradley Chair in Breast Cancer Research established and the inaugural chair holder is recruited. The goal of the chair is to attract a highly impactful researcher to propel the laboratory program forward.

  • 2003-2011

    Fund established to launch the biomarker discovery program to develop targeted treatments and to increase by six fold the number of breast cancer researchers at Indiana University.

  • 2009

    Opening of the new Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer Research Laboratories at IU School of Medicine.

  • 2013

    Bryan Schneider, MD, is named the new Vera Bradley Chair.

  • 2014

    Launch of Monogrammed Medicine research program. The program seeks to tailor treatments based on the genomics of each woman and her cancer.

  • 2015

    Launch of Vera Bradley Scholars Program. Two additional Vera Bradley Foundation chairs established ($2 million).

  • 2016

    Monogrammed Medicine patients are screened to determine their risk for painful side effects of chemotherapy.

  • 2017

    Xiongbin Lu, PhD, is named the Vera Bradley Foundation Professor of Breast Cancer Innovation.

Expertise and Collaboration to End Breast Cancer

According to Patrick Loehrer, MD, director of the IU Simon Cancer Center, members of the Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer Research Laboratories receive much of the seed funding for their research from the Vera Bradley Foundation. These critical donations allow researchers at IU School of Medicine to continue to act on original ideas and generate important data to prove their viability.