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.
George Sledge, Jr., M.D., is Professor and Chief of the Division of Oncology in the Department of Medicine at Stanford University.
An internationally-recognized 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. He has led many nationwide clinical trials involving new therapies for breast cancer. His research focuses on molecular and tumor biology, growth factors and targeted therapy. His Komen-funded research focuses on 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 is also one of the experts involved with Komen’s big data initiative. He was awarded the Brinker Award for Scientific Distinction in 2006 for his outstanding research.
more about Dr. Sledge in Voices of Impact.
Jennifer Pietenpol, Ph.D., is the Executive Vice President for Research at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Director of the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, the B.F. Byrd Jr. Professor of Molecular Oncology, and Professor of Biochemistry, Cancer Biology and Otolaryngology at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.
Carlos L. Arteaga, M.D. is Director of the Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center at UT Southwestern Medical Center where he also serves as Associate Dean of Oncology Programs and holds the Lisa K. Simmons Distinguished Chair in Comprehensive Oncology.
Early in his career, Dr. Arteaga was the first to report the role of TGF-β in breast cancer and their use as therapeutic targets, leading to the development of molecularly targeted drugs designed to inhibit these signaling pathways. Dr. Arteaga has discovered several cellular perturbations that confer resistance to HER2-targeted therapies. He was one of the first to report the role of PI3 kinase on escape from endocrine therapy in ER+ breast cancer patients. With Komen funding, Dr. Arteaga investigates genomic alterations in breast cancers after neoadjuvant chemo- and endocrine therapy to discover drug resistance mechanisms that would inform genotype-specific therapies.
Myles A. 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.
Lisa A. Carey, M.D., is Professor of Medicine, Alliance Breast Committee Co-Chair and Associate Director of Clinical Sciences at UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center. She is also the Richardson and Marilyn Jacobs Preyer Distinguished Professor in Breast Cancer Research and is the Chief of Hematology/Oncology and the Physician-in-Chief of the North Carolina Cancer Hospital.
Dr. Carey’s research focuses on the identification of different subtypes of breast cancer, evaluation of new chemotherapy agents in early breast cancer, and examination of tumor characteristics that predict response to therapy. A clinical translational researcher and expert in molecular subtypes of breast cancer, Dr. Carey identified the increased risk of developing basal-like breast cancer in young African-American women. She led CALGB 40601, a randomized phase III trial of HER2-targeting in HER2-positive breast cancer that tested both dual versus single HER2-targeting and the role of tumor biology and microenvironmental factors determining response to therapy.
Sandra Finestone, Psy.D., is a more-than-30-year breast cancer survivor and research advocate, who has been a volunteer for Susan G. Komen for over 25 years. Dr. Finestone is a licensed marriage and family therapist. She is passionate about educating breast cancer patients about their disease and the importance of breast cancer research.
Dr. Finestone opened the Hope Wellness Center to meet the needs of breast cancer survivors. As Executive Director, she facilitates support groups, meets individually with patients and their families and has created a peer support system where breast cancer mentors help newly diagnosed women with their journey. Sandy helped start the Orange County Komen Affiliate and has been president three times, as well as the Race chair. She is a Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) Ambassador and the President of the Inland Empire Komen Affiliate. In 2009, she went to Jordan to facilitate a meeting that taught healthcare providers about support groups for women with breast cancer, and later that year, trained women in Kuwait and Egypt about support groups.
Lisa A. Newman, M.D., M.P.H., FACS, FASCO is a surgical oncologist. She is the Chief of the Division of Breast Surgery and Director of the Interdisciplinary Breast Disease Program for the Weill Cornell Medicine-New York Presbyterian Hospital Network. Previously, she worked at the Henry Ford Health System, where she served as director of the breast program. She is also the Founding Medical Director for the International Center for the Study of Breast Cancer Subtypes, also relocated at Weill Cornell Medicine.
Her primary research has focused on ethnicity-related variation in breast cancer risk and outcome. She oversees an international breast cancer research and training program involving a network of physicians and facilities in Ghana, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Uganda, Haiti, Barbados, and Canada. This program has focused on studying triple negative breast cancer in women with African ancestry. Her Komen Scholar grant will study triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) subtypes in diverse populations. Dr. Newman's leadership is creating a new research field of anthropologic oncology, which can define root causes of breast tumor progression based upon the study of population migration patterns and reproductive history.
Alan Ashworth, Ph.D., F.R.S., is President of the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center in San Francisco, a role he began in January 2015. He was previously Chief Executive of the Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) in London, United Kingdom.
A translational biologist and laboratory researcher, Dr. Ashworth’s research focuses on understanding breast cancer genetics and applying what he learns to change the way patients are treated. He was a key part of the team that identified the BRCA2 breast cancer susceptibility gene in 1995, which is linked to an increased risk of some types of cancer. Ten years later, Dr. Ashworth found a way to kill off BRCA1- and 2-related tumor cells by treating them with Poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) activity inhibitors, which amplify the damage caused by the broken DNA repair machinery in those cells. This therapeutic approach is now standard of care for BRCA-related breast and ovarian cancer.
Dr. Ashworth’s Komen-funded research builds on his previous work and aims to identify genes and proteins that can be targeted with drugs to cause death of breast tumor cells in particular individuals with the goal of identifying new and better therapy options for breast cancer patients.
Melissa Bondy, Ph.D.
Baylor College of Medicine
SAB member 2007-2010
Komen Scholar 2010-2017
Powel Brown, M.D., Ph.D.
The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center
SAB member 2007-2017
Karen Gelmon, M.D., F.R.C.P.C.
British Columbia Cancer Agency
Komen Scholar 2010-2012
Scientific Advisory Board 2012-2018
Cheryl Jernigan, C.P.A., F.A.C.H.E.
Komen Advocate in Science
Kansas City, MO
SAB Member 2012-2018
H. Kim Lyerly, M.D.
Duke Comprehensive Cancer Center
Scientific Advisory Board 2007-2010
Komen Scholar 2010-2013
Amelie Ramirez, Dr.P.H.
The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
San Antonio, TX
SAB member 2007-2017 (now a Komen Scholar)
Saraswati Sukumar, Ph.D.
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
SAB member 2007-2010
Christina Tannous, Ph.D.
Fountain Valley, CA
Scientific Advisory Board 2008-2012
Komen Scholar 2012-2013
Eric P. Winer, M.D.
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Chief Scientific Advisor 2007-2018
SAB Past Chair Member 2018-2019
Careers & Opportunities