Dr. Joan Lewis-Wambi is an Associate Professor in the Cancer Biology Department at the University of Kansas Medical Center and a primary member of the University of Kansas Cancer Center. She has been a faculty member at KUMC since 2013. Dr. Lewis-Wambi's research focuses on understanding the pathobiology of inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) and to identify the molecular factors responsible for driving its aggressive phenotype especially in African American women. IBC is a very aggressive and lethal subtype of breast cancer that accounts for about 2-5% of all breast cancer cases diagnosed in the United States. IBC typically presents with rapid onset of painful primary skin changes and progresses to Stage IIIb/IV metastatic disease within six months. It has been shown to disproportionately affect African American women compared to other ethnic groups. Dr. Lewis-Wambi's laboratory has recently identified a novel molecular target, IFITM1, which appears to be highly expressed in IBC tumors and IBC cell lines from African American women compared to Caucasian American women. She has recently received a GMaP Region 3 pilot grant to study the biology and function of IFITM1 in IBC and to conduct a drug repurposing high throughput screen of FDA-approved drugs to selectively target IFITM1 expression in vivo using clinically relevant IBC mouse models.