Dr. Burness is driven by a desire to improve therapies for breast cancer patients. Her research arises from her clinical experiences in treating breast cancer patients. Her research focus is on the development of therapies to target cancer stem cells, specifically ways to alter DNA repair mechanisms and inflammation in cancer stem cells. This innovative approach to treating breast cancer holds promise for identifying new therapeutic targets and improving therapeutic regimens. Dr. Burness studies these approaches in the laboratory and in clinical trials, with the goal of rapidly translating her laboratory findings into use in the clinic to improve outcomes for breast cancer patients.