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 $27 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...

Fabrice André is a medical oncologist and PhD based at Gustave Roussy Cancer Center, Villejuif, France. He is professor of medicine at University Paris Sud. His main research interest is the development of clinical trials in the field of personalized medicine for...

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...

Dr. Bargonetti began at Hunter College as an Assistant Professor in 1994 and is currently a Full Professor and the Chair of the Molecular, Cellular and Developmental PhD Subprogram in Biology at the CUNY Graduate Center. Professor Bargonetti has carried out extensive...

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. Bertagnolli is a Professor of Surgery at Harvard University Medical School, and an Associate Surgeon at Dana Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham and Women’s Hospital . She is presently the Chief of the Division of Surgical Oncology at Dana Farber/Brigham and...

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. Chang obtained medical degree from Cambridge University, England and completed fellowship in medical oncology at the Royal Marsden Hospital/Institute for Cancer Research. She was awarded research doctorate from the University of London. Breast cancer has been 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...

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....

A leader in international clinical trials research since 1977, Robert Comis serves as President of the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) Research and Education Foundation; President of Alpha Oncology, a clinical research division of the Coalition of Cancer...

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...

Dr. Curtis is an Assistant Professor of Medicine and Genetics in the School of Medicine at Stanford University where she leads the Cancer Systems Biology Group and serves as Co-Director of the Molecular Tumor Board at the Stanford Cancer Institute. She received her...

Dr. Davidson is an experienced laboratory, translational, and clinical investigator. She has co-authored over 300 papers, reviews, and editorials in the peer review literature. Served as an elected member of the Boards of Directors for the American Association for...

Sandra Demaria obtained her MD from the University of Turin, Italy, then moved to New York City for postdoctoral training in immunology followed by training in pathology at New York University (NYU) School of Medicine in the anatomic pathology/research residency track...

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 currently an assistant professor in the Departments of Cell Biology and Oncology at the Johns Hopkins...

Dr. Formenti is the Sandra and Edward H. Meyer Professor and Chairman of the Department of Radiation Oncology at NYU since1999. She also is the Associate Director for Clinical Research and the co-Leader of the Breast Cancer Research Program of the NYU Cancer Institute....

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...

William J. Gradishar is Betsy Bramsen Professor of Breast Oncology in the Division of Hematology and Medical Oncology at the Feinberg School Medicine at Northwestern University and a member of the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center. He is Director of the...

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. Daniel Haber is Director of the MGH Cancer Center and the Isselbacher/Schwartz 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 cancer Wilms tumor...

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. Charlotte Kuperwasser is the Director of the Raymond and Beverly Sackler Laboratory for the Convergence of Biomedical, Physical and Engineering Sciences at Tufts University School of Medicine. She is an Associate Professor Developmental, Molecular & Chemical...

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...

Dr. Lee is Professor of Pharmacology and Chemical Biology, and Professor of Human Genetics at the University of Pittsburgh, and Director of the Women’s Cancer Research Center at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute and Magee Women’s Research...

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...

Marc E. Lippman, MD, MACP FRCP is the Kathleen and Stanley Glaser Professor of Medicine at the University of Miami Leonard School of Medicine, and was Chairman of the Department of Medicine from May 2007 to May 2012. He is currently Deputy Director of the Sylvester...

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. Cynthia Ma obtained her MD from Beijing Medical University in China and subsequently PhD in Developmental Biology from the University of Cincinnati. She completed her Internal Medicine residency from New Hanover Regional Medical Center at North Carolina followed by...

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...

Kathy D. Miller received her MD in 1991 from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, MD. Dr. Miller completed internal medicine training at Hopkins, then returned to her native Midwest for fellowship training at Indiana University, serving as Chief Fellow in...

Dr. Marsha A. Moses has had a long-standing interest in the biochemical and molecular mechanisms that underlie the regulation of breast tumor growth and progression. Dr. Moses and her laboratory have discovered a number of angiogenesis inhibitors, some of which are...

Dr. Park is from Saginaw, MI and received his Bachelor’s degree from The University of Chicago in 1989. He then completed a dual MD-PhD training program at The University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, graduating in 1995. After completing a residency in Internal...

Dr. Barbara Parker is involved in the studies of novel personalized therapies for the treatment of breast cancer, the impact of diet and lifestyle on breast cancer outcomes, and the quality of life of breast cancer survivors. She is the principal investigator for the...

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. Peggy Porter, a pathologist and researcher, is a member of the Human Biology and Public Health Sciences Divisions at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and Professor of Pathology at the University of Washington. As head of the multi-institutional Women’s...

Dr. David Rimm is a Professor in the Department of Pathology at the Yale University School of Medicine with a secondary appointment in Medicine (Oncology). He completed an MD-PhD at Johns Hopkins University Medical School followed by a Pathology Residency at Yale and...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Eric P. Winer, MD, is Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Chief, Division of Women's Cancers and the Thompson Senior Investigator in Breast Cancer Research at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. He is also Co-Chair of the Breast Committee of the...

Dr. Zhang is an Assistant Professor at Lester and Sue Smith Breast Center of Baylor College of Medicine. He received his PhD degree from Columbia University . In his graduate work in Dr. Lawrence Chasin’s laboratory, he focused on the genomics of pre-mRNA...