Carol A. Lange, PhD

Associate Director for Basic Sciences
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Dr. Lange is a Professor of Medicine (Division of Hematology, Oncology, and Transplantation) and Pharmacology and the Associate Director for Basic Science at the University of Minnesota Masonic Cancer Center. Her research is focused on the role of steroid hormone receptors (SRs) in breast and ovarian cancer. Estrogen receptors (ER) and progesterone receptors (PR) are context-dependent transcription factors that are important for normal breast development during puberty and pregnancy. These receptors, when abnormally activated, contribute to breast cancer biology and can dramatically influence responses to breast cancer therapies. An additional research focus is on closely related glucocorticoid receptors (GR) and their cross talk with stress-activated signaling pathways in women’s cancers. Targeting multiple signaling molecules in addition to SRs is predicted to halt cancer progression, prevent recurrence, and increase patient survival. Dr. Lange has over 30 years of experience in mechanisms of signal transduction related to cancer biology and altered cell fate, and the regulation of proteins by post-translational modifications. She has routinely developed new reagents (antibodies, stable cell lines, mouse models) and employed biochemistry and modern cell and molecular biology techniques as well as NextGen approaches to study the mechanisms of hormone action and altered gene regulation related to cancer biology and tumor progression. As a leading scientist focused on hormones and cancer, and in her leadership roles as Director of the Cancer Biology Training (NIH T32) Program and Associate Director for Basic Science within the Masonic Cancer Center, she has mentored over 30 PhD and postdoctoral trainees as well as numerous junior faculty members.


B.S. (1985); Biology and Chemistry with Honors; Math Minor (Denver University)
Ph.D. (1991); Pharmaceutical Sciences and Molecular Toxicology (University of Colorado)

Awards & Recognitions

NIH NRSA - Individual National Research Service Award (1993-1995), NIH FIRST (R29) Award; Converted to R01; Renewed (1997-present), Women in Endocrinology Women’s Health Research Award ($20,000; 2001), American Cancer Society Research Scholar Award (2004-2008), Basic Science Chair; 2008 Endocrine Society Annual Meetings; 11/2009, Tickle Family Land Grant Endowed Chair in Breast Cancer Research; Roy O Greep Award for Outstanding Contributions to Endocrine Research (Endocrine Society Laureate Awards 2012); The Sara Evans Award (University of MN 2012) for Outstanding Leadership in Science and Engineering; University of MN Mentor of the Year Award (2013); Council of Graduate Students Outstanding Faculty Award (2014); Ada Comstock Distinguished Women Scholars Award and Public Lecture (U of MN; 10/2014); Emerging Research Award (2015); 5th District Eagles (University of MN), UMN AHC Research Excellence Award (2016), NIH/NCI Up for a Challenge (U4C) Award (team member collaborator and co-recipient with Dr. Chad Myers; 2016), Jensen Symposium Memorial Plenary Lecture (2018), Annette L. Boman Cancer Research Symposium KeyNote Lecture (2018), Sidney H. Ingbar Laureate Award for Distinguished Service to the Field of Endocrinology (Endocrine Society Laureate Awards 2020); American Cancer Society ResearcHers Legacy Award (2022); University of Minnesota Wall of Scholarship (2022) for high citations.

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Research Summary/Interests

My research program in the areas of breast and ovarian cancer is focused on the integrated actions of growth factor- and stress-activated signaling pathways, protein kinases, and steroid hormone receptors.