Matthew Breen, a professor of genomics in the Department of Molecular Biomedical Sciences, has been named the Oscar J. Fletcher Distinguished Professor in Comparative Oncology Genetics. A member of a team that decoded the canine genome in 2005, Dr. Breen is recognized internationally for his research into molecular cytogenetics—the study of the structure and function of cells and chromosomes—and the comparative medicine application to canine and human cancers.
Breen’s accomplishments include publishing in more than 160 peer reviewed journals and having his research receive more than 4,400 citations. His investigations are supported by government, corporate, and foundation sources and he is frequently requested to serve on important science panels and boards.
Approved by the North Carolina State Board of Trustees, the $1 million Oscar J. Fletcher Distinguished Professorship is made possible through a financial arrangement by which $666,000 provided by the R.B. Terry Charitable Foundation will be matched by $334,000 from the Distinguished Professor Endowment Trust Fund managed by the University of North Carolina General Administration.
The endowed professorship is named for Terry Foundation board member Oscar Fletcher, the second dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine who remains on the faculty of the Department of Population Health and Pathobiology. Fletcher was a friend of philanthropist Randall B. Terry, Jr. who served as chairman of the North Carolina Veterinary Medical Foundation. Mr. Terry died in 2004.