The Scientific 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 Komen’s mission.
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 School.
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+
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
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.
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 future.
Dr. Arteaga was awarded the Brinker Award for Scientific Distinction in 2011 for his outstanding research.
Myles 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
Powel Brown, M.D.,
Ph.D., is a breast medical oncologist, a laboratory researcher, and is a Professor
and Chairman of the Department of Clinical Cancer Prevention at the University
of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. He holds
the John Charles Cain Distinguished Endowed Chair, and is also a member of the Department
of Breast Medical Oncology.
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. His current
Komen-funded grant is focused on discovering which phosphatases in breast
cancers are essential for their growth.
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.
A clinician-scientist, 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.
Cheryl 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
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