Nancy Krucher

Pace University, Professor Nancy Krucher, PhD

Breast cancer is the most commonly occurring cancer in women and the second most common cancer overall, and according to the World Cancer Research fund, there were more than two million new cases in 2018 alone. At Pace University, Professor Nancy Krucher, PhD, understands the transformative power of research. She’s a pioneer in the fight against breast cancer, and currently utilizing a recent $399,000 grant she received from the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health (2018–2021) to study a new class of drugs called CDK4/6 inhibitors.

“This new class of drugs inhibit cancer cell growth by activating a tumor suppressor gene, Rb,” Krucher explained. “These inhibitors improve patient outcomes for about a year, but then the cancer becomes resistant to the treatment.” It’s these biochemical mechanisms by which the cancer develops resistance against these drugs that Krucher and six Pace undergraduate students have been working tirelessly to study and understand over the past two years. “We have found that targeting a metabolic pathway responsible for the biosynthesis of lipids in the cell may be a strategy that could be employed to improve these breast cancer treatments in the clinic.”

It’s Krucher’s passion for mentorship that has drawn so many Pace students to her research efforts, and like them, her own research during her undergraduate studies was what initially inspired her to pursue a career in STEM. “The lab I worked in was searching for the gene that causes Muscular Dystrophy, and it was then I decided I wanted to be a scientist.” Now, she collaborates with her students on projects that lead to novel discoveries, publishes their findings, and nurtures a love of science in all the young minds that sign up for her class.

“Don’t ever think you can’t achieve something because of your gender,” Krucher advised to any young women who might be considering pursuing the STEM field. “It just isn’t true.​”