Vera Bradley Foundation Center for Breast Cancer Research

The Vera Bradley Foundation Center for Breast Cancer Research at Indiana University School of Medicine is focused on dramatically improving therapies for some of the most difficult-to-treat types of breast cancer. Each year, breast cancer claims more than 40,000 lives in the United States.

The Vera Bradley Foundation Center is home to a multi-disciplinary team of more than 30 breast cancer physicians and scientists who are engaged in basic, translational and clinical research. They are capitalizing on new technologies to develop highly customized therapies and to help women avoid the life-altering side effects that often result from standard treatment.

A Focus on Aggressive Tumors

While the center conducts research related to all types of breast cancer, it is especially focused on triple negative breast cancer. Triple negative breast cancer tends to be more aggressive, spreads more rapidly and has a higher recurrence rate than other forms of breast cancer. Through the Precision Health Initiative, Indiana University has made extraordinary investments in talent and infrastructure necessary to understand what drives this complex disease. IU School of Medicine has set the ambitious goals of developing new targeted therapies for triple negative breast cancer and curing at least one sub-type of the disease.

The Future of Research on Breast Cancer


IU Simon Cancer Center

The Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center is one of the leading academic cancer research centers in the United States and consists of more than 150 scientists conducting research within five different programs. As Indiana’s only National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center that provides patient care, physician-researchers at IU Simon Cancer Center lead more than 600 active clinical trials for pediatric and adult cancers. Members of the Vera Bradley Foundation Center for Breast Cancer Research collaborate with experts at the IU Simon Cancer Center and tap into the center’s exceptional research infrastructure.

About the Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer

The breast cancer research center at IU School of Medicine is named in recognition of the Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer. Vera Bradley, a company based in Fort Wayne, Indiana, is a leading designer of women’s handbags and accessories. The company’s co-founders, Barbara Baekgaard and Patricia Miller, began raising money for breast cancer research in 1993, shortly after the death of a friend and colleague. The Vera Bradley Foundation has since committed $37.5 million to IU School of Medicine to advance breast cancer research and treatment in Indiana and around the world.


The World’s Only Healthy Breast Tissue Bank

Indiana University School of Medicine is home to the world’s only biorepository – or bank – of healthy breast tissue. Through the generosity of selfless women without breast cancer, this bank allows investigators from Indiana and beyond to compare healthy breast tissue to cancerous tissue in order to determine how and why breast cancer develops. This opens the door for the potential identification of cancerous cells at an earlier stage, as well as the opportunity for the development of new treatments and therapies for breast cancer patients.