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 of Medicine and Pathology, and Chief of the Division of Oncology in the Department of Medicine at Stanford University.
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 Professor of Medicine and Cancer Biology at Vanderbilt University where he holds the Donna S. Hall Chair in Breast Cancer Research.
At the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center (VICC), he serves as Director of the Center for Cancer Targeted Therapies and the Breast Cancer Program, and Associate Director for Translational/ Clinical Research. Early in his career, Dr. Arteaga was the first to report the role of IGF-1 receptors 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 mechanisms of resistance to HER2-targeted therapies, and he was one of the first to link aberrant PI3 kinase activity with tumors not responding to endocrine therapy in ER+ breast cancer patients. With Komen funding, Dr. Arteaga is investigating genomic alterations in breast cancers after neoadjuvant chemo- and endocrine therapy to discover drug resistance mechanisms that would inform genotype-specific therapies.
Dr. Arteaga was awarded the Brinker
Award for Scientific Distinction in 2011 for his outstanding research.
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.
Karen A. Gelmon, M.D., F.R.C.P.C., is Professor of Medicine and Head of the Division of Medical Oncology at the University of British Columbia and a Medical Oncologist at the British Columbia Cancer Agency. She is also Senior Scientist and Clinical Leader of the Experimental Therapeutics Department at the British Columbia Cancer Research Centre.
Her research bridges her clinical practice with her passion for research. She focuses on developing early drug trials of novel agents and improved treatment options for individuals with breast cancer. 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: 1) determining which patients respond best to the treatment paclitaxel and why, and 2) investigating the DNA of patients with BRCA-related cancers to learn why some responded to a treatment called olaprib and others did not. Dr. Gelmon is also working on a trial of “spatial heterogeneity:” how genomic changes in different regions of the breast cancer correlate with circulating DNA.
Cheryl L. Jernigan, CPA, F.A.C.H.E., is a 20-year breast cancer "thriver" and cancer research advocate. She was previously CEO of the Kansas City Area Hospital Association, and has over 20 years of experience in health policy, advocacy and community/national leadership on behalf of hospitals.
She is Chair of the Breast Cancer Prevention Center’s Advocate Advisory Board for The University of Kansas Medical Center and The University of Kansas Hospital, and she is the Lead Advocate of Patient & Investigator Voices Organizing Together (PIVOT), a new University of Kansas Cancer Center initiative. Ms. Jernigan is a founding and current board member and Chair of the Strategic Mission Committee of the Greater Kansas City Komen Affiliate, and a member of the Steering Committee of Komen’s Advocates In Science program. An active research advocate, Ms. Jernigan is a member of many clinical trial initiatives, including the National Cancer Institute’s Central Institutional Review Board for Adult Late Phase Clinical Trials. Ms. Jernigan is also one of the experts involved with Komen’s big data initiative.
Lisa A. Newman, M.D., M.P.H., FACS, FASCO is a surgical oncologist, and Director of the Breast Oncology Program for the multi-hospital Henry Ford Health System (HFHS) in metropolitan Detroit, MI. She is the Founding Medical Director for the HFHS International Center for the Study of Breast Cancer Subtypes. Dr. Newman holds an appointment on the NIH Advisory Council for the Institute of Minority Health and Disparities.
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 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.
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
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
Saraswati Sukumar, Ph.D.
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
SAB member 2007-2010
Christina Tannous, Ph.D.
Komen Advocate in Science
Fountain Valley, CA
Scientific Advisory Board 2008-2012
Komen Scholar 2012-2013
Careers & Opportunities