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.

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 is an epidemiologist and public health expert with a longstanding interest in the causes and prevention of chronic disease, particularly among women. With a commitment to identifying strategies for prevention of breast cancer, Dr. Colditz studies benign...

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...

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

Clifford Hudis, MD, Chairman of BCRF Scientific Advisory Board, is Chief of the Breast 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 Medical College...

Dr. Stephen Hursting is Professor in the Department of Nutrition and the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center at UNC-Chapel Hill and Professor at the UNC Nutrition Research Institute in Kannapolis, NC. He earned his PhD in nutritional biochemistry and MPH in...

Melinda L. Irwin, PhD, MPH is an associate professor at the Yale School of Public Health and co-leader of the Cancer Prevention and Control Research Program at Yale Cancer Center. Dr. Irwin's primary research interests are physical activity, weight and cancer...

Dr. Kanaan is a Professor of Molecular Genetics in the Department of Life Sciences, Faculty of Science at Bethlehem University, Palestine and Director of the Bethlehem University Hereditary Research Laboratory (HRL), which he established in 1992. Over the last 18 years...

Thomas Kensler is Professor of Pharmacology & Chemical Biology at the University of Pittsburgh. He obtained his doctorate at MIT and trained as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Wisconsin and at the National Cancer Institute. After 30 years on the faculty...

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...

Mary-Claire King, PhD, is American Cancer Society Professor at the University of Washington, Seattle. She was the first to show that breast cancer is inherited in some families, as the result of mutations in the gene that she named BRCA1. In addition to inherited...

Ephrat Levy-Lahad, MD, is Professor of Internal Medicine and Medical Genetics at Hebrew University and Director of the Medical Genetics Institute at Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem. She 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 is a scientist/oncologist whose research has long been focused in the area of molecular cancer science. He received his AB cum laude from Harvard in 1961 and his MD magna cum laude from Tufts Medical School in 1965. He undertook his clinical training in...

Dr. Loprinzi is currently the Regis Professor of Breast Cancer Research at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN where he is an emeritus chair of the Division of Medical Oncology and an emeritus Vice-Chair of the Department of Oncology. He has run an active cancer...

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 in...

Anne McTiernan, MD, PhD is a Full Member at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and Research Professor at the University of Washington Schools of Medicine and Public Health in Seattle. Dr. McTiernan’s research focuses on identifying ways to prevent new or...

Dr. Muss is an experienced clinician-scientist, a Professor of Medicine at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, and the Director of the Geriatric Oncology Program at the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center Program. He has a major interest and...

Sharyl Nass, PhD. is a scholar at the National Academies’ Institute of Medicine where she serves as Director of the National Cancer Policy Forum and Interim Director of the Board on Health Care Services. Over the past 15 years, her work at IOM has focused on topics...

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

Bruce Ponder is Emeritus Professor of Oncology at Cambridge, Head of Oncology and Director of the Cancer Centre, and was the Founding Director of the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Research Institute. He established one of the first clinics for familial cancer and...

Prof. Gad Rennert is the chairman of the Carmel Medical Center Department of Community Medicine and Epidemiology since 1992. He is a professor and the head of public health and epidemiology teaching group at the Technion Faculty of Medicine.Prof. Rennert is also the...

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...

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. Lois Shepherd is a Professor in the Department of Pathology and Molecular Medicine at Queen's University. She completed her medical school training at McGill and spent three years in England where her interest in hematology developed. She completed her training as...

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...

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 1980s his...

Sandra M. Swain, MD, FACP is the Medical Director of the Washington Cancer Institute, 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 Medicine...

Kala Visvanathan is an Associate Professor in the Department of Epidemiology at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Department of Medical Oncology at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Dr. Visvanathan is Director the Clinical Cancer Genetics and...

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...