Olufunmilayo I. Olopade, MD, FACP

Walter L. Palmer Distinguished Service Professor of Medicine and Human Genetics

Associate Dean, Global Health

Director, Center for Clinical Cancer Genetics

Dr. Olopade is an expert in cancer risk assessment and individualized treatment for the most aggressive forms of breast cancer, having developed novel management strategies based on an understanding of the altered genes in individual patients. She stresses comprehensive risk reducing strategies and prevention in high-risk populations, as well as earlier detection through advanced imaging technologies.

Dr. Olopade has received numerous honors and awards, including honorary degrees from North Central, Dominican, Bowdoin, and Princeton universities. She is also a recipient of the Doris Duke Distinguished Clinical Scientist and Exceptional Mentor Award, an American Cancer Society Clinical Research Professorship, a MacArthur Foundation "Genius" Fellowship and Officer of the Order of the Niger Award. Dr. Olopade is an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society. She currently serves on the board of directors for the American Board of Internal Medicine, the National Cancer Advisory Board, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Cancer IQ, and the Lyric Opera.

Practice Location

The University of Chicago Medicine
5841 S. Maryland Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637

Year Started Practice


Board Certifications

Internal Medicine
Medical Oncology

Medical School

University of Ibadan

Internship and Residency

Cook County Hospital, Chicago


The University of Chicago Medicine


American Association for Cancer Research
American Board of Internal Medicine
American Association for the Advancement of Science
American College of Physicians
American Philosophical Society
American Society for Clinical Investigation
American Society for Preventative Oncology
American Society of Breast Disease
American Society of Clinical Oncology
American Society of Hematology
Association of American Professors
Human Genome Organization
Institute of Medicine
National Cancer Advisory Board
Nigerian Medical Association
Women in Cancer Research

Languages Spoken


Office Phone

(773) 702-1632

Office Fax

(773) 834-1659

Office Postal Address

Olufunmilayo I. Olopade, MD, FACP
The University of Chicago Medicine
5841 S. Maryland Avenue, MC 2115
Chicago, IL 60637

Physician Photo

Clinical Interests

Request an appointment online
or call UCM Connect at

Physicians, contact the cancer intake line at (773) 702-8222.

Learn More About Dr. Olopade

Dr. Olopade was featured in the article Cancer Knows No Borders in TheScientist that discusses her groundbreaking work in hematology and oncology at the University of Chicago Medicine.

Crain's Chicago Business featured Dr. Olopade in an article about the breast cancer gene, cancer in African-American women, and winning the MacArthur "genius" grant.

Sensitized to her familial risk of cancer, Michelle McBride embarked on a course of screening and self-education that brought her to the University of Chicago Medicine. Here, Dr. Olopade and a team of breast surgeons helped McBride break a pattern that was woven into her genetic fiber.

View a brief video of Dr. Olopade discussing hereditary breast cancer treatment, risk assessment and research at the University of Chicago Medicine.

Dr. Olopade is featured in a video about research at the University of Chicago Medicine.

In 2005, Dr. Olopade was named a MacArthur Fellow and awarded the Foundation's prestigious "genius grant."

Dr. Olopade authored a study that found significant differences between breast cancers in Caucasian women and in women of African descent.

Shirley Mertz credits Dr. Olopade and the UCMC cancer team with saving her life. Dr. Olopade and other cancer experts tailored Mertz's treatment according to her tumor biology, an approach that reversed her metastatic breast cancer.

Learn how Dr. Olopade helped a patient with a high-risk family history of breast cancer.

Dr. Olopade serves on the medical advisory board of the Young Survival Coalition, a network of breast cancer survivors and supporters, which seeks to provide education and resources for young breast cancer patients.

Dr. Olopade organized an international conference to promote breast and cervical cancer awareness in Nigeria.

To create a comprehensive genomic cancer database, Dr. Olopade studied the occurrence of BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes in breast cancer around the world. Watch her discuss her work during the 2011 World Science Festival.

Selected Publications

View a partial list of Dr. Olopade's publications through the National Library of Medicine's PubMed online database.