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.

Lifestyle & Prevention

A world free of breast cancer includes preventing the disease from occurring in the first place. While some factors are out of our control, like age or gender, we have uncovered a number of ways people may be able to reduce their risk.

Our researchers have demonstrated that maintaining a healthy weight, staying physically active and avoiding stress can profoundly influence prognosis and incidence. These important advances are helping to empower women and men to take command of their lives and minimize their chances of developing the disease.

At the National Cancer Institute as Chief, Laboratory of Cellular and Molecular Biology, Dr. Stuart Aaronson’s early investigations of mammalian transforming retroviruses led to the discovery of the first normal function of an oncogene and demonstration that genes...

Maria Azrad, PhD, RD, is a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) in the Department of Nutrition Sciences and received training from the NCI-funded Cancer Prevention and Control Training Program. Dr. Azrad’s research focuses on the...

Dr. Angela Bradbury is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine, Division of Hematology-Oncology at the University of Pennsylvania. She is a physician in the Cancer Risk Evaluation Program and also has a secondary appointment in the Department of Medical...

Dr. Colditz was born in Australia and received his B.Sc. and medical degree from the University of Queensland, Australia, and his M.P.H. and Doctorate in Public Health from Harvard University School of Public Health. In 1990 he was elected a Fellow in the Australian...

Dr. Fergus J. Couch is Professor and Chair of the Division of Experimental Pathology in the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology at the Mayo Clinic. He obtained his undergraduate and doctoral degrees from University College Cork, Ireland and received post-...

Andrew J. Dannenberg, MD is the Henry R. Erle, MD-Roberts Family Professor of Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College. He is also Director of Cancer Prevention at New York Presbyterian Hospital-Cornell. Dr. Dannenberg received his medical degree from Washington...

Dr. Pamela Goodwin has been actively involved in research relating to host factors in breast cancer for the past 25 years. Early in her career, she became intrigued with the possibility that host (patient-related) factors, especially obesity, might impact outcomes of...

Clifford Hudis, MD, Chairman of BCRF Scientific Advisory Board, is Chief of the Breast Cancer Medicine Service and Attending Physician at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) in New York City. He is also a Professor of Medicine at the Weill Cornell...

Dr. Stephen D. Hursting is Professor and Chair of the Department of Nutritional Sciences, as well as the Margaret McKean-Love Chair of Nutritional, Molecular and Cellular Sciences, at the University of Texas at Austin. He is also Professor of Carcinogenesis at the UT-...

Dr. James Ingle is Professor of Oncology and Foust Professor in Mayo Clinic College of Medicine. He is the leader of breast cancer research in the Mayo Clinic Comprehensive Cancer Center serving as Program Co-Leader of the Women's Cancer Program with responsibility for...

Dr. Melinda Irwin is an Associate Professor in the Yale School of Public Health and co-leader of the Cancer Prevention and Control Research Program at the Yale Cancer Center. Dr. Irwin's primary research interest involves examining lifestyle factors, in particular...

Dr. Moien Kanaan is a leading Palestinian geneticist. Over the last 15 years Dr. Kanaan has been investigating the genetically isolated Palestinian population and its high consanguinity rate in identifying genetically based disease gene. This includes hearing loss,...

Thomas Kensler is a Professor in the Department of Pharmacology...

Dr. Seema A. Khan is Professor of Surgery in the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University, and the Bluhm Family Professor of Cancer Research. She is the Co-leader of the Women’s Cancer Research Program at the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center....

Mary-Claire King is American Cancer Society Research Professor of Genetics and Medicine at the University of Washington. Work in her lab focuses on genetic analysis of breast and ovarian cancer. Dr. King was the first to prove that breast cancer is inherited in some...

Ephrat Levy-Lahad, MD, is Professor of Internal Medicine at Hebrew University and, since 1996, Director of the Medical Genetics Institute at Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem. Dr. Levy-Lahad is one of the world's foremost authorities on inherited breast cancer...

Karen Liby earned her PhD from the University of Cincinnati and then joined the laboratory of Michael B. Sporn, a pioneer in the field of chemoprevention. She currently is a member of the Department of Medicine at Dartmouth Medical School. She was awarded the Wilson S...

Dr. Livingston received his A.B. from Harvard in 1961 and his M.D. from Tufts Medical School in 1965. He undertook his clinical training in internal medicine at Peter Bent Brigham Hospital and his scientific training at the NCI and at Harvard Medical School. He joined...

Dr. Loprinzi is currently a Professor of Oncology at Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Rochester, MN where he has completed tours of duty as the chair of the Division of Medical Oncology and the Vice-Chair of the Department of Oncology. He presently is the Director of...

Joan H. Marks is Co-Director of The New York Breast Cancer Study, a research project examining the role of breast cancer genes in increasing the incidence of breast cancer in Ashkenazi Jewish women. From 1972 to 1998 Joan Marks directed two unique graduate programs...

Dr. Anne McTiernan has been involved in breast cancer research for the past 25 years and focuses on prevention and survivorship. She served as co-Project Director for the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) Clinical Coordinating Center at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer...

Dr. Muss is currently Professor of Medicine at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and Director of Geriatric Oncology at the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center. His major research interests are breast cancer, with emphasis on the treatment of older women...

Dr. Sharyl Nass is a scholar at the National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine (IOM) and Director of the IOM’s National Cancer Policy Forum. Over the past 14 years, her work at the IOM has focused on a broad range of topics that include cancer clinical trials...

Kenneth Offit is Chief of the Clinical Genetics Service in the Department of Medicine at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. He is also Professor of Medicine and Public Health at Weill Medical College of Cornell University, and Vice Chairman of the Program in...

Bruce Ponder obtained his BA degree with First Class Honours in 1965 at the University of Cambridge, and qualified in medicine (MB, BChir) in 1968 from Cambridge and St Thomas' Hospital, London. He trained in internal medicine in various NHS posts in London, and...

Dr. Rennert is the Director of the CHS National Cancer Control Center in Israel and of the National Breast and Colorectal Cancer Detection Programs of Israel. He is also the Chairman of the Department of Epidemiology and Community Medicine at Carmel Medical Center and...

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

Dr. Sharma is an Associate Professor in the Department of Oncology, Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins. She obtained her doctorate in Molecular Biology and Oncology from the University of Delhi. She then completed fellowships at both the...

Dr. Shepherd is a Hematopathologist and Professor in the Department of Pathology and Molecular Medicine at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario and has worked as a Physician Coordinator and Senior Investigator at the NCIC Clinical Trial Group since 1988. Dr....

A native of Canada, 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...

Michael B. Sporn received his MD degree at the University of Rochester, and then started a 35-year career at the National Institutes of Health, where he became the Chief of the Laboratory of Chemoprevention in the National Cancer Institute in 1978. In the 1980's his...

Dr. Sandra M. Swain, FACP, is the Medical Director of the Washington Cancer Institute, of MedStar Washington Hospital Center, in Washington, DC. She is a Professor of Medicine at Georgetown University and Adjunct Professor of Medicine at F. Edward Hebert School of...

Dr. Visvanathan received her medical degree from the University of Sydney in Australia in 1989. She subsequently went on to complete her training in Internal Medicine and Medical Oncology including a period as Chief Resident at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, a teaching...

Dr. Walter Willett is Professor of Epidemiology and Nutrition and Chairman of the Department of Nutrition at Harvard School of Public Health and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Willett, an American, was born in Hart, Michigan and grew up in Madison...