July 1, 2020:

Investigator Spotlight

Zeynep Madak-Erdogan, PhD, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Educational background

  • PhD: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • BS: Bilkent University, Ankara, Turkey

Research interests

I am the director of the Women’s Health, Hormones, and Nutrition lab at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. My research interests include the impact of nutrients and hormones on breast cancer outcomes, health disparities in African-American women with breast cancer, and the impact of estrogen receptor alpha and kinase signaling cross-talk on the development and progression of breast cancer. I am also interested in researching the effect of diet and nutrition, which are influenced by socioeconomic status, on hormone action and therapy effectiveness.

Little-known facts about Dr. Madak-Erdogan

  • I have a 10 year old daughter who brings all the color to my life.
  • I enjoy anything related to plants and gardening.
  • I love cooking and baking, and try to be self-sufficient in the kitchen by minimizing groceries, and food and plastic waste.


About the Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium: The Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium was created in 2013 to transform the conduct of cancer research through collaborative, hypothesis-driven, highly translational oncology trials that leverage the scientific and clinical expertise of Big Ten universities. The goal of the Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium is to create a unique team-research culture to drive science rapidly from ideas to new approaches to cancer treatment. Within this innovative environment, today’s research leaders collaborate with and mentor the research leaders of tomorrow with the unified goal of improving the lives of all patients with cancer.

About the Big Ten Conference: The Big Ten Conference is an association of world-class universities whose member institutions share a common mission of research, graduate, professional and undergraduate teaching and public service. Founded in 1896, the Big Ten has sustained a comprehensive set of shared practices and policies that enforce the priority of academics in the lives of students competing in intercollegiate athletics and emphasize the values of integrity, fairness and competitiveness. The broad-based programs of the 14 Big Ten institutions will provide over $200 million in direct financial support to more than 9,800 students for more than 11,000 participation opportunities on 350 teams in 42 different sports. The Big Ten sponsors 28 official conference sports, 14 for men and 14 for women, including the addition of men’s ice hockey and men’s and women’s lacrosse since 2013. For more information, visit www.bigten.org.