Anna Barker (left), accepts the Preston Award for Breast Cancer Awareness from BMI's Frances Preston
Barker oversees a wide spectrum of programs at the NCI designed to accelerate meaningful progress against breast and other cancers through the discovery and development of new knowledge and technologies. Her other contributions include helping set priorities for the Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Program, influencing public policy and research funding by helping to organize the 1998 "MARCH: Coming Together to Conquer Cancer," leading the American Association for Cancer Research Public Science Policy and Legislative Affairs Committee, and serving with the National Dialogue on Cancer, an initiative of former President and Barbara Bush to accelerate the fight against cancer. Barker's own research interests have focused on drug discovery and development as well as immunotherapy. Previous roles include senior executive of Battelle Memorial Institute, CEO of a public biotechnology company, and founder/director of a private company dedicated to the transfer and deployment of new technologies to treat and prevent cancer. She completed her Ph.D. in immunology and microbiology at Ohio State University.
The Frances Williams Preston Award for Breast Cancer Awareness is presented each October by the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center and the Vanderbilt Breast Center. Research laboratories at VICC also bear Preston's name and are funded by music industry charity, the T.J. Martell Foundation, for which Preston serves as president.