Meet the Lead Researchers

Dr. Bryan Schneider, M.D.

Dr. Schneider, the Vera Bradley Investigator in Oncology, focuses on personalized medicine: giving the right medicine to the right patient at the right time based on genetic and other factors. With past Vera Bradley support, he has developed a first-of-its kind clinical study for women diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer, a very aggressive form of the disease. “It is a privilege and a great honor to hold the title of Vera Bradley Investigator,” Dr. Schneider said. “The enthusiasm and passion that Vera Bradley Foundation volunteers and professionals have for curing this disease inspires me as I work to help women live longer, healthier lives after a diagnosis of breast cancer.” Dr. Schneider -- an associate professor of medicine and of medical and molecular genetics at the IU School of Medicine, a researcher at the IU Simon Cancer Center and associate director of the Indiana Institute for Personalized Medicine -- has already made a significant impact in the world of breast cancer research. In 2011, just six years into his career at the IU School of Medicine, his research was recognized as one of the top clinical cancer research advances that year by the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the largest and most prestigious organization of its kind in the world.

Kathy D. Miller, M.D.

A physician-scientist, Dr. M​iller is among the leading clinical breast cancer trial specialist in the United States. She strives to improve the quality and length of patients’ lives through clinical research opportunities. Recently, she designed clinical trials to treat HER2-positive disease and Triple Negative Disease. Dr. Miller has practiced at the IU Simon Cancer Center for most of her 15-year career, where she is an associate professor of medicine and co-director of the breast cancer research program and has been honored as the Indiana University Outstanding Clinician.

Harikrishna Nakshatri, B.V.Sc., Ph.D.

Dr. Naks​hatri is considered a world authority on estrogen-sensitive tumors and much of his work is focused on preventing and decreasing recurrence in this type of disease. Dr. Nakshatri’s work is leading to the development of a drug to treat a very aggressive form of breast cancer. Originally from a rural village in India, Dr. Nakshatri joined IU School of Medicine in 1996 as the first laboratory researcher focused exclusively on breast cancer and now serves as co-director of the breast cancer research program.

Xiongbin Lu, Ph.D.

​Xiongbin Lu joined the team in 2017 as the Vera Bradley Foundation Professor of Breast Cancer Innovation. 

"I have been enjoying the dynamic and challenging nature of cancer research, which drives me to do something that is new and important at each stage of my academic career. I was trained as a virologist with emphasis on viral entry and infectivity (Lu X et al., Virology 2000; Lu X et al., Journal of Virology 2001). After my first postdoctoral training at NIAID/NIH, I decided to take a challenge to study cancer biology in Dr. Donehower’s laboratory where the first p53 knockout mouse was generated. I was fascinated by the complex function and regulation of the p53 tumor suppressor. My initial work contributed to an important Nature research article concerning the role of p53 on organismal aging (Tyner S et al., Nature 2001), which was reported by a number of mainstream media such as BBC, Washington Post, and New York Times. Since then, I have been looking into molecular mechanisms for the induction and hemostatic regulation of p53. My early work determined that Wip1 phosphatase is a master inhibitor in the ATM-p53 signaling pathway. It established a foundation to screen small chemical compounds for preclinical and clinical studies in cancer treatment (Lu X et al., Mol Cell 2004; Lu X et al., Genes & Dev 2005; Lu X et al., Cancer Cell 2007)." ​Read more...

​Learn more about the investigator team