Areas of Focus

Breast cancer is a complex disease with no simple solution. That's why our researchers are tackling it from every angle. Learn more about our areas of focus and why each is critical to knowing how to fight cancer from the start, slow its progress and one day stop it from occurring altogether.

Metastasis

If detected early, breast cancer can be controlled. It’s when the disease spreads, or metastasizes, that it often turns lethal. Metastatic cancer cells can lie dormant for years, even decades, only to “wake up” and find their way into different parts of the body, such as the lungs, liver, brain or bones. For those patients whose cancer metastasizes, there has been little hope for long-term survival. There’s nothing more important than stopping cancer in its tracks. We have committed $31 million to tackling metastasis through a multi-year, multi-institutional international collaboration. The first of its kind, the Evelyn H. Lauder Founder’s Fund will enable researchers to understand why some breast cancers spread faster than others and why some respond to certain therapies while other don’t. At the program’s center are major studies of the molecules that go awry in cancer cells to help us understand what makes the disease tick and how we can develop more effective treatments for the men and women affected.

Dr. Aaronson’s research is focused on discovery and functions of cancer genes. At the NCI as Chief, Laboratory of Cellular and Molecular Biology, he identified the first normal function of a cancer gene as that of a growth factor, PDGF, and cloned erbB2 (also...

Dr. David B. Agus is a professor of medicine and engineering at the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine and Viterbi School of Engineering and heads the USC Westside Cancer Center and the USC Center for Applied Molecular Medicine. Dr. Agus...

Fabrice André MD, PhD, is an oncologist based at Gustave Roussy Cancer Cancer, Villejuif, France. He is Professor of Medicine at University Paris Sud. His BCRF research focuses on the characterisation of molecular alterations in metastatic breast cancers. He is leading...

Michael Andreeff received his MD and PhD from the University of Heidelberg, Germany, and additional training at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. He has been a pioneer in flow cytometry since 1971, when he established the first flow cytometry laboratory at the...

Robert Benezra, PhD, is a Member at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer in the Department of Cell Biology and a Professor of Biology at Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences in New York City. As a postdoctoral fellow he identified the Id proteins as dominant negative...

Dr. Bissell has been a visionary and pioneer in the area of the role of extracellular matrix (ECM) and microenvironment in regulation of tissue-specific gene expression with special emphasis in breast cancer, where she has changed a number of established paradigms. She...

Dr. Priscilla Brastianos is the Director of the Central Nervous System Metastasis Program at Massachusetts General Hospital of Harvard Medical School. Originally from Vancouver, British Columbia, she received her BSc in biochemistry and chemistry from the University of...

Lisa A. Carey, MD is the Richardson and Marilyn Jacobs Preyer Distinguished Professor in Breast Cancer Research in the Department of Medicine at the University of North Carolina (UNC). She graduated from Wellesley College, then received her medical degree from the...

Dr. Lewis A. Chodosh is a physician-scientist who received a BS in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry from Yale University, and MD from Harvard Medical School, and a PhD. in Biochemistry from M.I.T. in the laboratory of Dr. Phillip Sharp.  He performed his...

Michael Clarke, MD is a Professor of Medicine at Stanford University. He is the Karel and Avice Beekhuis Professor in Cancer Biology and Associate Director of the Stanford Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine. His interest is in Stem Cell Biology....

Dr. Elizabeth Comen is a medical oncologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center with a practice devoted to the study and treatment of patients with all stages of breast cancer. Dr. Comen earned her BA from Harvard College and her MD from Harvard Medical School....

Vincent Cryns, MD, is the Marian A. and Rodney P. Burgenske Chair in Diabetes Research and Chief, Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes & Metabolism at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. He received his bachelor’s and medical degrees...

Angela DeMichele, MD, MSCE, is a Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology at the University of Pennsylvania and holds the Jill and Alan Miller Endowed Professorship in Breast Cancer Excellence. Dr. DeMichele has been the Co-Leader of the Breast Cancer Research Program in...

Originally from the United Kingdom, Matthew Ellis completed his medical training in the U.K. at the Universities of Cambridge and London.  After 11 years at Washington University in St Louis, Dr. Ellis is the incoming Director of the Lester and Sue Smith Breast...

Andrew J. Ewald earned his BS in physics from Haverford College and his PhD in biochemistry and molecular biophysics from the California Institute of Technology. He is a professor in the Departments of Cell Biology, Oncology, and Biomedical Engineering at the...

Zhen Fan was awarded his medical degree in 1985 from the Medical School of Shanghai Medical University, one of China’s most prestigious medical schools, and completed additional graduate studies there in 1988. His medical residency and oncology research training were...

Dr. Fuqua has a Bachelor's degree and a Master's Degree from the University of Houston. Her PhD is in Cancer Biology from the University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Science. She is a Professor of Medicine and Molecular and Cellular Biology at Baylor College...

Dr. Cyrus Ghajar is an assistant member in the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center's Division of Public Health Sciences. He studied bioengineering at the University of California, Berkeley before moving on to Stanford University to earn an MS in materials science...

Julie R. Gralow, MD, is the Jill Bennett Endowed Professor of Breast Cancer at the University of Washington (UW) School of Medicine, Director of Breast Medical Oncology at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, and Member of the Clinical Research Division at Fred Hutchinson...

Dr. Carrie R. Graveel earned her PhD. in Cellular and Molecular Biology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2002. She then served as a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dr. George Vande Woude at Van Andel Research Institute (VARI) from 2002-2007. In 2007...

Dr. Haber is Director of the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center and the Kurt J. Isselbacher Professor of Oncology at Harvard Medical School. His laboratory interests have focused on the area of cancer genetics, including the etiology of the pediatric kidney...

Dr. Rachel Hazan received her PhD from George Washington University in 1990. She performed her thesis work under Dr. Joseph Schlessinger, where she studied Her2 signaling in breast cancer, and was the first to map Her2 phosphorylation sites. She then joined Dr. Gerald...

Dr. Heiser received her BA in molecular biology at UC Berkeley and her PhD in neuroscience from the University of Pittsburgh. She is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at OHSU. Her laboratory is focused on identifying...

Dr. Hicks is a molecular geneticist using genomics to study the initiation and progression of cancer in human patients with the goal of developing clinical assays for improving the treatment of the disease.  His current studies expand on his previous work on the...

Dr. Susan Band Horwitz is a Distinguished University Professor at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. She grew up in Boston and after graduating from Bryn Mawr College, received her PhD in Biochemistry from Brandeis University.Dr. Horwitz has had a continuing...

Neil Iyengar is a medical oncologist and clinical-translational researcher at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC). He is an Assistant Attending Physician in the Breast Medicine Service at MSKCC and also holds a joint research appointment at the Rockefeller...

Dr. Jerzak completed medical school and internal medicine residency training at McMaster University. Then, she pursued medical oncology sub-specialty training at the University of Toronto (2013–2015), where she was the co-Chief Medical Resident and the recipient of the...

Yibin Kang is Warner-Lambert/Parke-Davis Professor of Molecular Biology at Princeton University. He graduated from Fudan University in Shanghai in 1995. After completing his graduate study at Duke in 2000, Dr. Kang became an Irvington Institute postdoctoral fellow with...

Benita Katzenellenbogen is Swanlund Professor of Physiology, Cell and Structural Biology, and director of a breast cancer research group at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is an internationally known endocrinologist and cancer researcher and has...

Dr. Annette R. Khaled joined the faculty of the University of Central Florida (UCF) College of Medicine (COM) after completing her pre-doctoral studies at the University of Florida and her post-doctoral studies at the National Cancer Institute (NCI). She is the...

Ian Elliott Krop, MD, PhD, is the Chief of Breast Medical Oncology and the Director of Clinical Research for the Breast Oncology Program at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. He is also an Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Krop is a...

Dr. Kuhn is a scientist and entrepreneur with a career long commitment in personalized medicine and individualized cancer patient care. He is focused on the redesign of cancer care.Dr. Kuhn is a Professor at USC, a founding member of a new Institute of Convergent...

Joshua LaBaer is one of the nation's foremost investigators in the rapidly expanding field of personalized medicine. Formerly director of the Harvard Institute of Proteomics (HIP), he was recruited to ASU's Biodesign Institute as the first Piper Chair in Personalized...

Dr. Rosette Lidereau received her PhD in oncology and immunology in 1987 from the Pasteur Institute (working with Chairman and Prof. Barret-Sinoussi) and completed a fellowship in the Laboratory of Tumor Immunology and Biology, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda (Prof...

Dr. Lin is a medical oncologist at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI) and Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Lin received her medical degree at Harvard Medical School and subsequently completed her residency in Internal Medicine at Brigham...

Dr Lindeman, a clinician-scientist, is Joint Head of the Stem Cells and Cancer Division at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research (‘WEHI’); medical oncologist at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and Royal Melbourne Hospital; Professorial Fellow in the...

Marc E. Lippman, MD, MACP FRCP is a professor of Oncology and co-directs the breast cancer program at the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center at Georgetown University. Prior to that he was the Kathleen and Stanley Glaser Professor of Medicine at the University of...

Sherene Loi MD, PhD, is a clinician scientist and medical oncologist specializing in the treatment of breast cancer. She also leads a lab that focuses on understanding the genomic and immune interface in breast cancer with the aim to investigate and develop novel...

Dr. Paul Macklin is an applied mathematician in the newly-established Department of Intelligent Systems Engineering at Indiana University. Dr. Macklin works with teams of clinicians, modelers, and biologists to develop and validate sophisticated computer models of...

Dr. Hayley McDaid received her PhD from the Queens University of Belfast, where she characterized the role of the cAMP-dependent protein kinase A signaling pathway in breast and ovarian cancer. These studies pioneered her present-day interest in targeted therapies...

Dr. Sofia Merajver is a physician scientist with a translational focus on integrating molecular genetics of breast cancer with fundamental studies of the dynamics of cancer signal transduction into innovative clinical strategies for women at high risk for breast cancer...

Dr. Marsha A. Moses is the Julia Dyckman Andrus Professor at Harvard Medical School and the Director of the Vascular Biology Program at Boston Children's Hospital. She has made significant contributions to our understanding of the biochemical and molecular...

Professor Newton received his B.S. in Applied Math/Physics at Harvard University and Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics from Brown University. After a post-doctoral fellowship at Stanford University, he was Assistant and Associate Professor of Mathematics and The Center for...

Originally trained in scientific computing and mechanics during his PhD study at The Ohio State University and as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Chicago working on fluids and materials, during the past 15 years Dr. Nie has devoted his research effort to...

The main interest of Dr. Oesterreich’s research is to further our understanding of hormone action in women’s cancer in order to use this knowledge for improved diagnosis and endocrine treatment. Her studies have focused on breast cancer and in receptor action in...

Dr. Osborne was born in St. Louis, Missouri and received his AB and his MD from the University of Missouri, both with honors. He completed his internship and residency at Johns Hopkins and followed this with three years as a Clinical Associate at the Medicine Branch of...

Dr. Perou is a member of the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center at UNC, and the Scientific Director of the UNC Bioinformatics Core. He received his PhD in Cellular and Molecular Biology from the Department of Pathology at the University of Utah (1996) where he...

Martine J. Piccart, MD, PhD, is Professor of Oncology at the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), Belgium, and Director of Medicine at the Institut Jules Bordet.She is co-founder and chair of the Breast International Group (BIG), uniting 55 academic research groups...

Kornelia Polyak, MD, PhD is a Professor of Medicine at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School, and is an internationally recognized leader in the breast cancer field. Research in Dr. Polyak’s laboratory is dedicated to the molecular analysis of human...

Dr. Thomas Rohan is Chairman of the Department of Epidemiology and Population Health at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York and Associate Director for Population Sciences in the Albert Einstein Cancer Center, and he recently completed a term as a member...

Hope S. Rugo, MD, is a Professor of Medicine in the Division of Hematology and Oncology at the University of California San Francisco, Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, where she directs Breast Cancer and Clinical Trial Education. Her research interests...

Dr. Sandra Ryeom is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Cancer Biology at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Previously, Dr. Ryeom was a Research Associate at the Children’s Hospital and Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical...

Dr. Schiff is Associate Professor at the Baylor College of Medicine, Sue & Lester Smith Breast Center and the Departments of Medicine and Molecular and Cellular Biology. She is an internationally recognized expert in breast cancer translational research and in...

Dr. Robert Schneider is the Albert Sabin Professor of Molecular Pathogenesis at NYU School of Medicine, an Associate Director of the NYU Cancer Institute, Breast Cancer Program Co-Director and Associate Dean for the Office of Therapeutics and Industry Alliances. He has...

George W. Sledge Jr., MD, is Professor and Chief of Medical Oncology at Stanford University Medical Center.  He specializes in the study and treatment of breast cancer and directed the first large, nationwide study on the use of paclitaxel to treat advanced breast...

Dr. Slingerland received her MD from the University of Toronto in 1983, followed by a Fellowship in Internal Medicine with the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons in Canada. In 1987, she was certified by the American Board in Internal Medicine and in Medical...

Dr. Christos Sotiriou earned a medical degree from the Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium, in 1993. He did his internal medicine/oncology residency at the Institut Jules Bordet and earned his specialty in this field in July 1999. From October 1999 through September...

David R. Soto-Pantoja, PhD received his BS in Biology from the University of Puerto Rico Mayagüez Campus and his PhD in in Molecular Genetics & Genomics from Wake Forest School of Medicine. He received the Cancer Research Training Award  to complete his...

Joseph Sparano is Professor of Medicine & Women's Health at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Associate Chairman for Clinical Research in the Department of Oncology at Montefiore Medical Center, and Associate Director for Clinical Research at the Albert...

The Translational Cancer Therapeutics (TCT) Laboratory is focused on identification of mechanisms of cancer evolution and its impact on drug resistance and patient stratification. Professor Swanton and his colleagues are using parallel clinical trial and integrative...

Sohail Tavazoie graduated from the University of California at Berkeley and completed an MD-PhD program at Harvard-MIT, followed by residency training in Internal Medicine at Brigham & Women's Hospital at Harvard and medical oncology and postdoctoral fellowship...

Dr. Ilan Tsarfaty received his BSc. (1983), MSc. (1986) and PhD (1990) from Tel Aviv University. From 1991-1994, he served as a postdoctoral research associate at the National Cancer Institute's Frederick Cancer Research and Development Center. He was a visiting...

Dr. George F. Vande Woude received his M.S. (1962) and PhD (1964) from Rutgers University. From 1964-1972, he served first as a postdoctoral research associate, then as a research virologist for the US Department of Agriculture at Plum Island Animal Disease Center. In...

Nikhil Wagle is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, a medical oncologist at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and an associate member of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. He is the Deputy Director of the Center for Cancer Precision...

Dr. Geoffrey M. Wahl is a Professor at the Salk Institute, an Adjunct Professor at the University of California, San Diego in the Department of Biology, and the past President of the American Association for Cancer Research (2006-2007). Dr. ...

Dr. Weaver is currently the Director of the Center for Bioengineering and Tissue Regeneration in the Department of Surgery, and is a Professor in the Departments of Surgery, Radiation Oncology and Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences at UCSF in San Francisco, CA.Dr...

Dr. Weinberg is a founding member of the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research and the Daniel K. Ludwig Professor for Cancer Research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He is also the first Director of the Ludwig Cancer Center at MIT. He is an...

After completing his postdoctoral training at Washington University, Dr. Weiss was recruited to the University of Michigan in 1982 where he assumed the rank of Professor in 1988. In 1991, he was named as the first recipient of the Upjohn Professorship in Oncology, a...

Dr. Max S. Wicha founded the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center (UMCCC) in 1987 and served as director for 27 years. Under his direction the UMCCC has established itself as a national leader. He is a leader in breast cancer research and a pioneer in...

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory scientist Michael Wigler, PhD, in collaboration with James Hicks, PhD, is analyzing the genomes of women with breast cancer in research aimed at eliminating "trial-and-error" approaches to therapy. This work is leading to diagnostic tests...

Dr. Zhang is an Associate tenured Professor at Lester and Sue Smith Breast Center of Baylor College of Medicine. He received his PhD degree from Columbia University under the mentorship of Dr. Lawrence Chasin where he focused on the biology of mRNA splicing....

Jean Zhao is Professor of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology at Harvard Medical School and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI). Dr. Zhao’s research centers on understanding kinase signaling pathways in cancer. She has pioneered a new front in understanding...