Lynn Dressler, DrPH

Research Associate Professor Adjunct Assistant Professor

Lynn Dressler is the director of personalized medicine of the Fullerton Genetics Center at Mission Health in Asheville, NC. She joined the center in February 2013, to develop and direct the personalized medicine and pharmacogenomics program.

Formerly a faculty member in the Schools of Medicine and Pharmacy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a founding member of UNC Center for Pharmacogenomics and Individualized Therapy, Dressler’s thirty-year career spans translational laboratory research in cancer, health policy research, and the ELSI and policy implications of genomic medicine. Dressler holds a master’s in experimental pathology and a doctorate in health policy, and she completed a fellowship in ELSI research.

At UNC, her laboratory conducted the research study that directly led to the FDA approval of the HER2 FISH assay (PathVYsion™), one of the first pharmacogenomic tests in solid tumors. In North Carolina, nearly ten years prior to GINA, Dressler worked with the NC General Assembly to draft legislation that was passed into law to prohibit discrimination by employers and health insurance providers on the basis of an individual’s genetic information, paving the way for cancer genetic studies to proceed in that state while providing some protection for cancer patients.

At the national level, working closely with NIH/NCI/NHGRI, Dressler has served in many leadership roles (external adviser to TCGA study, NCI caHUB ethics working group, eMERGE Return of Results and Data Sharing Working Groups). Dressler currently serves as a member of the Clinical Pharmacogenomics Implementation Committee, the Ethics and Policy Working Group of the NHGRI/NCI International Cancer Genome Consortium, and a guest member of the Institute of Medicine’s Roundtable on Translating Genomic Findings to Improve Health.


  • Garber, J. E., Halabi, S., Tolaney, S. M., Kaplan, E., Archer, L., Atkins, J. N., Edge, S., Shapiro, C. L., Dressler, L., Paskett, E. M., Kimmick, G., Orcutt, J., Scalzo, A., Winer, E., Levine, E., Rotche, R., Shahab, N., & Berliner, N. (2010). for the Cancer and Leukemia Group B. Factor V leiden mutation and the risk of thromboembolic events in women receiving adjuvant tamoxifen for breast cancer: Results from CALGB 9872. Journal of the National Cancer Institute (in press).
  • Dressler, L. G. & Terry, S. (2009). How will GINA influence participation in pharmacogenomic research and clinical testing? Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, 86 (5), 472–475.
  • Dressler, L. G. (2009).  Disclosure of research results from cancer genomic studies: State of the science. Clinical Cancer Research, 15 (13), 4270-4276. Epub 2009 Jun 23.
  • Harris, L. N., Broadwater, G., Abu-Khalaf, M., Cowan, D., Thor, A. D., Budman, D., Cirrincione, C. T., Berry, D. A., Winer, E. P., Hudis, C. A., Hayes, D. F., Friedman, P., Ellis, M., & Dressler, L. (2009)   Topoisomerase II  amplification does not predict benefit from dose-intense cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin and fluorouracil therapy in HER2-amplified early breast cancer: Results of CALGB 8541/150013. Journal of Clinical Oncology, 27 (21), 3430-3436.
  • Muss, H. B., Berry, D. A., Cirrincione, C. T., Theodoulou, M., Mauer, A. M., Kornblith, A. B., Partridge, A. H., Dressler, L. G., Cohen, H. J., Becker, H. P., Kartcheske, P. A., Wheeler, J. D., Perez, E. A., Wolff, A. C., Gralow, J. R., Burstein, H. J., Mahmood, A. A., Magrinat, G., Parker, B. A., Hart, R. D., Grenier, D., Norton, L., Hudis, C. A., Winer, E. P., & CALGB Investigators. (2009). Adjuvant chemotherapy with standard regimens is superior to capecitabine in older women with early stage breast cancer. The New England Journal of Medicine, 360 (20), 2055-2065.
  • DiGiovanna, M. P., Stern, D. L., Edgerton, S., Broadwater, G., Dressler, L. G., Budman, D. R., Henderson, I. C., Thor, A. D., Norton, L., Liu, E. T., Muss, H. B., Berry, D. A., & Hayes, D. F. (2008). Influence of activation state of ErbB-2 (HER-2) on response to adjuvant cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, and fluorouracil for stage II, node-positive breast cancer: Study 8541 from the Cancer and Leukemia Group B. Journal of Clinical Oncology, 26 (14), 2364-2372. Epub 2008 Apr 7
  • Millikan, R. C., Newman, B., Tse, C. K., Moorman, P. G., Conway, K., Dressler, L. G., Smith, L. V., Labbok, M. H.,  Geradts, J., Bensen, J. T., Jackson, S., Nyante, S., Livasy, C., Carey, L., Earp, H. S., & Perou, C. M. (2008). Epidemiology of basal-like breast cancer. Breast Cancer Research and Treatment, 109 (1), 123-139.  Epub 2007 Jun 20
  • Hayes, D. F., Thor, A. D., Dressler, L. G., Weaver, D., Edgerton, S., Cowan, D., Broadwater, G., Goldstein, L. J., Martino, S., Ingle, J. N., Henderson, I. C., Norton, L., Winer, E. P., Hudis, C. A., Ellsi, M. J., & Berry, D. (2007). HER2 and benefit from paclitaxel chemotherapy for node positive breast cancer. The New England Journal of Medicine, 357 (15), 1496-1506.
  • Dressler, L. G. (2007). Control and use of banked human specimens in research. Biospecimen “ownership” counterpoint. Journal of Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention, 16 (2), 190-191.
  • Dressler, L. G. & Juengst, E.  (2006). Thresholds and boundaries in the disclosure of individual genetic research results.  The American Journal of Bioethics, 6 (6), 18-20.


  • November 2010: “Return of Individual Research Results from Genomic Studies: Perspectives of IRBs” Cold Spring Harbor Symposium on Pharmacogenomics
  • September, 2009: Integrating Pharmacogenomics into clinical practice: addressing the ethical, social, and policy issues. DPOP seminar. UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy.
  • July, 2009: Ownership and control issues in Biobanking. Research ethics seminar series for residents, fellows and graduate students. UNC Schools of Medicine and Public Health.
  • March 16, 2009: Genome-wide association studies and NIH GWAS data sharing policy: What IRBs need to know. IRB monthly meeting of staff and IRB chairs, UNC Office of Human Research Ethics.
  • May, 2008   Participation in CALGB Pharmacogenonomic Studies: a preliminary analysis of PET Committee Protocols. Cancer and Leukemia Group B. Core Meetings. Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics Modality Committee.
  • April, 2008. Integrating ELSI into the Scientific Process: the PERF approach. Presented at the 2nd International Congress on Ethical, Legal, Social Implications of Genetic Research. Cleveland, Ohio.
  • November 17, 2008. Public Responsibility in Medicine and Research (PRIM&R) Conference. Invited panel discussant. “Ownership, Control and the Trusted Intermediary: Considerations for a Biobanking Model.” Panel E23). Orlando, FL.
  • November 18, 2008. Public Responsibility in Medicine and Research (PRIM&R) Conference.  “Informed consent, future use of specimens, disclosure of results and other challenges in biobanking.(L Dressler) Co-discussant of workshop C4: Managing Specimen Repositories: Tools and Strategies.Orlando, FL.
  • October, 2008. Improving clinical outcome through pharmacogenomics: ethical, social and policy issues. DPOP Graduate seminar. UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy;
  • September, 2008. Improving clinical outcome through pharmacogenomics: ethical and social considerations. GSK Futuristic Forum. Chapel Hill, NC.
  • September, 2008. Toward Individualizing Therapy: Addressing Ethical, Legal, Social and Policy Issues (ELSP). Faculty seminar for Institute of Pharmacogenomics and Individualized Therapy. UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy.
  • July, 2008. Whose tissue is it anyway? Ethical issues in biobanking and use of human specimens in reserch. Research ethics seminar serues for clinicians. UNC School of Medicine.
  • May, 2008   Consent for Pharmacogenomic Studies: a preliminary analysis of nine CALGB clinical trials. IPIT Faculty Seminar. UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy.
  • January 22, 2008. National Cancer Institute: Ca-BIG (Cancer bioinformation grid) data sharing workshop. “Sharing data and informed consent: ethical and policy issues to consider.”