Advisory Board (SAB) provides strategic guidance and direction for our research
and scientific programs. It plays a key role in guiding and prioritizing Komen’s
global research investment and serves as the executive committee of the Komen
Scholars. The SAB is led by the chief scientific advisors and is comprised of
leaders in breast cancer research, clinical practice and advocacy who have made
significant contributions to advancing the field and are committed to furthering
Eric P. Winer, M.D., is Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School
and Chief, Division of Women's Cancers and the Thompson Chair in Breast Cancer
Research at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. He is the 2009 recipient of the A.
Clifford Barger Excellence in Mentoring Award from Harvard Medical
Dr. Winer has devoted his
professional career to the treatment of individuals with breast cancer and
breast cancer research. He, personally, has designed and led phase I, II, and
III clinical trials. He has collaborated closely throughout his career with
psychosocial researchers, health services researchers, and both basic and
translational scientists. His group at Dana-Farber
conducts a broad array of breast cancer research with the goal of extending the
lives of individuals with breast cancer and minimizing suffering and morbidity
from the disease. Dr. Winer’s research interests also include quality of
life, psychosocial aspects of cancer, medical decision making, and
doctor-patient communication. His Komen-funded research is focused on reducing
racial disparities in breast cancer and is also looking at preoperative
therapies for patients with HER+ breast cancer.
Komen’s Chief Scientific
Advisors, Dr. Winer and Dr. Sledge discuss how Komen-funded research has changed the
breast cancer landscape.
George Sledge, Jr., M.D., is Professor of Medicine and Pathology, and Chief of the Division of Oncology in the Department of Medicine at Stanford University.
Dr. Sledge is recognized internationally for his work in breast cancer research and
treatment. A clinical trialist and pioneer in the development of novel therapies
for breast cancer, Dr. Sledge directed the first large, nationwide trial that
studied the efficacy of paclitaxel as a therapy for advanced breast cancer.
Since then, he has served as the principal investigator for many nationwide
clinical trials involving new therapies for breast cancer. His research focuses on molecular and tumor biology, growth factors and anti-angiogenic therapy. With his Komen-funded grant, Dr. Sledge is searching for new, druggable targets in triple negative breast cancers,
investigating the process of angiogenesis (tumors forming new blood vessels) and
identifying genetic clues that will help us better understand how this occurs.
He is also evaluating new technologies that capture tumor cells circulating in
the blood stream, which may provide doctors with better tools to understand and
treat metastatic breast cancer. Dr. Sledge was awarded the Brinker Award for Scientific Distinction in 2006 for his outstanding research.
more about Dr. Sledge in Voices of Impact.
Carlos Arteaga, M.D., is Professor of Medicine and Cancer Biology at
Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. He is the Donna S. Hall
Chair, Associate Director for Clinical Research, and Director of the Breast
Cancer Program and the Center for Targeted Therapies at the
Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center (VICC) of Vanderbilt
University. He is also the Director of the NCI-funded Specialized
Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) in Breast Cancer at the VICC.
Dr. Arteaga’s research focuses on explaining the
role of several growth factors and receptors that are responsible for breast
cancer cell growth, invasion, and metastasis, with the goal of developing drugs
that target these proteins to treat breast cancer. A
laboratory-based translational and clinical investigator, many of Dr.
Arteaga’s mechanistic research studies have translated from the bench to the
bedside and have impacted the current approach to breast cancer
treatment. He was the first to report the role of the
TGF-ß network in epithelial-to-mesenchymal (EMT) transition and metastasis in
breast cancer, and more recently has focused on PI3-kinase (PI3K), a signaling
pathway associated with tumor cell survival and drug resistance that is
dysregulated in more than 30 percent of breast cancers. With his
Scientific Advisory Board grant funding, Dr. Arteaga is investigating patients’
DNA after chemotherapy and endocrine therapy to identfy genetic targets to
determine which patients will develop metastatic cancer in the
Dr. Arteaga was awarded the Brinker
Award for Scientific Distinction in 2011 for his outstanding research.
Brown, M.D., is Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School.
Trained as a medical oncologist, he is currently Director of the Center
for Functional Cancer Epigenetics at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
Dr. Brown’s research focuses on understanding the role of steroid
hormones and their receptors in breast and prostate cancers. A
translational researcher, he studies how female hormones such as estrogen and
progesterone and male hormones such as testosterone regulate the growth of
hormone-dependent cancers. His laboratory spans the full spectrum of research
into hormone action from very basic work identifying the proteins and genes
regulated by steroid hormones and their receptors to studies of actual patient
tumors to identify mechanisms of therapeutic resistance. Through his
Komen-funded research, Dr. Brown is currently investigating how estrogen
receptor-positive breast cancers become resistant to endocrine
therapy with the goal of using this knowledge to develop
new breast cancer treatments.
Dr. Brown is a Professor and Chairman of the Department of Clinical Cancer Prevention and a member of the Department of Breast Medical Oncology at MD Anderson Cancer Center. He holds the John Charles Cain Distinguished Endowed Chair and serves on Susan G. Komen’s Scientific Advisory Board. As a molecular biologist and breast medical oncologist, Dr. Brown is working to identify molecules critical for estrogen receptor (ER)-negative breast cancer growth and development, with the ultimate goal of preventing breast cancer. He was the first to show that retinoids can prevent ER-negative mammary tumors in mice, and that the anti-Her2 drug lapatinib prevents Her2-positive tumors in mice. These preclinical results have led to early phase clinical trials. Dr. Brown is currently focused on developing new ways to treat and prevent “Triple-negative breast cancer”. His current Komen-funded grant is focused on discovering which kinases and phosphatases are required for breast cancer growth and survival. Ultimately, this research will lead to new ways to treat and prevent breast cancer in the future.
Karen Gelmon, M.D., F.R.C.P.C., is Professor of Medicine at the University of
British Columbia and a Medical Oncologist at the British Columbia Cancer Agency
(BCCA). She is also Senior Scientist and Clinical Leader of the Experimental
Therapeutics Department at the British Columbia Cancer Research Centre. She is
Head of the Division of Medical Oncology for UBC.
Dr. Gelmon’s research bridges her clinical practice with her passion for
research. She is focused on developing improved treatment options for
individuals with breast cancer, as well as early drug trials of novel agents.
Her work spans Phase I, II, and III clinical trials as well as research to
understand the character of cancer and its effect on patients. Dr. Gelmon’s
Komen-funded grant helps to support two clinical trials. In the first, her team
is working to determine which patients respond best to the treatment paclitaxel
and why. In the second, Dr. Gelmon is investigating the DNA of ten patients with
BRCA-related cancers to learn why some responded to a treatment called olaprib
and others did not. She is currently working on a trial of spatial
heterogeneity to link genomic changes in different regions of the breast cancer
with circulating DNA.
Jernigan, C.P.A., F.A.C.H.E., is an 18-year breast cancer "thriver"
and breast health advocate. She is Chair of the Breast Cancer Prevention Center
Advocate Advisory Board for The University of Kansas Medical Center and The
University of Kansas Hospital. Ms. Jernigan is also a founding and
current board member and Chair of the Strategic Mission Committee of the Greater
Kansas City Affiliate of Susan G. Komen, and a member of the steering committee
of Komen’s Advocates In Science program.
An active research
advocate, Ms. Jernigan is a member of the National Cancer
Institute’s Central Institutional Review Board for Adult Late Phase Clinical
Trials; the Clinical Trials Transformation Initiative's Patient Leadership
Council; and the Multi-Regional Clinical Trials Center’s Working Group on
Returning Clinical Trial Results to Participants. She is the Lead Advocate for
the Greater Plains Clinical Data Research Network (a Patient-Centered Outcomes
Research Initiative (PCORI) grant); a past member of the National Cancer
Institute's Director's Consumer Liaison Group (DCLG); and has served as
an advocate reviewer for Komen’s Research Program, the U.S. Congressionally
Directed Breast Cancer Research Program, and the Lance Armstrong
Amelie Ramirez, Dr.P.H., is a
professor of epidemiology and biostatistics at The University of Texas Health
Science Center at San Antonio, where she also is founding director of the
Institute for Health Promotion Research, which researches health disparities
among minorities. Dr. Ramirez has two endowments to
support her research and that of the IHPR—the Dielmann Chair in Health
Disparities Research and Community Outreach and the Max and Minnie Tomerlin
Voelcker Endowed Chair in Cancer Healthcare Disparities and Outreach at the
Cancer Therapy & Research Center (CTRC), the Health Science Center’s
National Cancer Institute-designated Cancer Center. She also
is Associate Director for Cancer Prevention and Health
Disparities at the CTRC.
Dr. Ramirez has directed
research programs aimed at developing communications and interventions to reduce
chronic disease and cancer health disparities affecting Latinos and other
minority populations for over 30 years. An internationally recognized public
health and health disparities researcher, Dr. Ramirez directs two national
research networks, one funded by the National Cancer Institute to focus on
cancer in Latinos, Redes
En Acción, and one on Latino child obesity, Salud America!, that have
helped reduce Latino cancer rates and increase Latino cancer screening, clinical
trial participation and healthy lifestyles. She also has helped pioneer the use
of bilingual, bicultural patient navigators and promoters to deliver
community-based health programs to Latina breast cancer patients and facilitate
access to support services. Dr. Ramirez’ Komen-funded research focuses on
several aspects of breast cancer care, including the impact of exercise for
breast cancer survivors, improving access for Latinas to breast cancer clinical
trials, studying patient navigation efforts to improve quality of life and
screening practices among breast cancer survivors, and examining how
anti-inflammatory diets impact breast cancer recurrence.
Careers & Opportunities