05:11pm Sunday 12 July 2020

Penn Medicine's Basser Research Center for BRCA Unveils Homologous Hope Sculpture

PHILADELPHIA — On Wednesday, the University of Pennsylvania’s Basser Research Center for BRCA will host a special event to formally unveil “Homologous Hope,” a new sculpture to be featured in the Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine. The large-scale piece, created especially for the Basser Research Center for BRCA by internationally renowned artist Mara G. Haseltine, is suspended from the glass atrium of the Perelman Center, greeting visitors as they enter.

Created in a ribbon-diagram formation, the sculpture illustrates how a healthy cell repairs DNA that causes breast, ovarian and prostate cancers. It is an accurate depiction of the part of the BRCA2 gene that is responsible for DNA repair. The BRCA2 gene is crucial in the process of DNA repair. The repair occurs in three stages, as illustrated by a light show within portions of the piece. The sculpture celebrates the hope that the establishment of the Basser Research Center is giving to countless families and their loved ones.

Located within Penn Medicine’s Abramson Cancer Center, the Basser Research Center for BRCA is the first comprehensive BRCA-focused center of its kind. The mission of the Center is to use cutting edge research in basic and clinical sciences to advance the care of individuals living with BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations. In 2012, University of Pennsylvania alumni Mindy and Jon Gray gave a $25 million gift to establish the Basser Center in honor of Mindy’s sister, Faith Basser, who passed away at the age of 44 of ovarian cancer. Recently, the Grays committed an additional $5 million gift to support BRCA-related pancreatic cancer research as well as launch an external grants program to help advance science around the globe focused on BRCA-related research.


Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine
3400 Civic Center Blvd, Philadelphia


Wednesday, March 12, 2014
6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.


  • Ralph W. Muller, chief executive officer of the University of Pennsylvania Health System
  • Chi V. Dang, MD, PhD, director of the Abramson Cancer Center
  • Susan Domchek, MD, executive director of the Basser Research Center for BRCA in Penn Medicine’s Abramson Cancer Center
  • Mara G. Haseltine, Artist
  • Mindy and Jon Gray, Founders of the Basser Research Center for BRCA


Penn Medicine is one of the world’s leading academic medical centers, dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and excellence in patient care. Penn Medicine consists of the Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (founded in 1765 as the nation’s first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System, which together form a $4.3 billion enterprise.

The Perelman School of Medicine has been ranked among the top five medical schools in the United States for the past 16 years, according to U.S. News & World Report’s survey of research-oriented medical schools. The School is consistently among the nation’s top recipients of funding from the National Institutes of Health, with $398 million awarded in the 2012 fiscal year.

The University of Pennsylvania Health System’s patient care facilities include: The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania — recognized as one of the nation’s top “Honor Roll” hospitals by U.S. News & World Report; Penn Presbyterian Medical Center; and Pennsylvania Hospital — the nation’s first hospital, founded in 1751. Penn Medicine also includes additional patient care facilities and services throughout the Philadelphia region.

Penn Medicine is committed to improving lives and health through a variety of community-based programs and activities. In fiscal year 2012, Penn Medicine provided $827 million to benefit our community.

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