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.

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...

Dr. Fabrice André is a medical oncologist who is currently the director of INSERM Unit U981, a laboratory dedicated to the development of personalized medicine. He is also full professor in the department of medical oncology at Institut Gustave Roussy in Villejuif,...

Michael Andreeff, MD, PhD received his medical degree and doctorate from the University of Heidelberg, Germany, and additional training and faculty appointments at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) in New York, NY, in the Departments of Pathology and...

Molecular biologist Jill Bargonetti is a cancer researcher, and innovator in the education of minorities in science. Dr. Bargonetti began at Hunter College as an Assistant Professor in 1994 and is currently the Chair of the Molecular, Cellular and Development PhD...

Robert Benezra, PhD, is a Member at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer (MSKCC) in the Department of Cell Biology and a Professor of Biology at Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences in New York City. Before he joined MSKCC, Benezra worked at Fred Hutchinson Cancer...

Dr. Bertagnolli is a Professor of Surgery at Harvard University Medical School and the Chief of the Division of Surgical Oncology at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Dr. Bertagnolli is a member of the Gastrointestinal Cancer and Sarcoma...

Mina J. Bissell, PhD, is an international authority on the role that the cell microenvironment plays in cancer formation and progression. She has been recognized for her lifetime contributions to the fields of breast cancer research, the enhanced role of extracellular...

Dr. Jenny C. Chang is Director of the Cancer Center at the Methodist Hospital, Houston, Texas. She obtained her medical degree from Cambridge University in England and completed fellowship training in medical oncology at the Royal Marsden Hospital/Institute for Cancer...

Dr. Lewis Chodosh joined the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in 1994 and currently serves as Chairman of the Department of Cancer Biology. Dr. Chodosh holds appointments as an Professor with Tenure in the Departments of Cancer Biology, Cell...

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. Her research focuses on the mechanisms by which breast cancer metastasizes and spreads...

Dr. Robert L. Comis, President and Chairman of the Coalition of Cancer Cooperative Groups, is Group Chair of the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG), and Professor of Medicine and Director of the Drexel University Clinical Trials Research Center in Philadelphia,...

Dr. Cryns received his bachelor's degree summa cum laude in biochemistry from Harvard, his medical degree from Harvard Medical School, and he did specialty training in endocrinology at Massachusetts General Hospital. His laboratory focuses on mechanisms of cell death....

Dr. Curtis is an Assistant Professor of Preventive Medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California and a member of the Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, where she leads the Cancer Systems Biology Group. She obtained her bachelor of...

Dr. Nancy E. Davidson FACP is the Director University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute and University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) Cancer Center and Associate Vice Chancellor for Cancer Research at the University of Pittsburgh since February 2009. Dr. Davidson...

As a breast cancer pathologist and a basic/translational investigator seeking more effective treatments for established and advanced cancers, the overall goal of Dr. Sandra Demaria's work is to employ pre-clinical models to better define the determinants of response to...

Originally from the United Kingdom, Matthew Ellis completed his initial medical training in the U.K. at the Universities of Cambridge and London before coming to the United States in 1991 as a Medical Research Council of Great Britain Traveling Fellow at the Lombardi...

Dr. Andrew Ewald received his doctorate in Biophysics & Embryology from the California Institute of Technology and completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). He has spent the past decade developing imaging, genetic,...

Silvia Formenti, MD, was appointed in 2000 as the first Sandra and Edward H. Meyer Chairman of the new Department of Radiation Oncology. Widely respected for her work in breast and cervical cancer, Dr. Formenti joined NYU from the University of Southern California,...

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...

Dr. Gradishar is Professor of Medicine in the Division of Hematology and Medical Oncology, Department of Medicine, at the Feinberg School Medicine at Northwestern University in Chicago, Illinois, and a member of the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of...

Dr. Gralow majored in Biologic Sciences as an undergraduate at Stanford University, attended medical school at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, and trained as a resident in Internal Medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. Her Medical...

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 cancer genetics, including the etiology of the pediatric kidney cancer Wilms tumor and genetic...

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

Dr. Charlotte Kuperwasser is an Associate Professor in the Department of Anatomy and Cellular Biology at Tufts University School of Medicine and an investigator at the Molecular Oncology Research Institute (MORI) at Tufts Medical Center. She has been working in breast...

Dr. 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 recently recruited to ASU's Biodesign Institute as the first Piper...

Dr. Adrian Lee is Director of the Women’s Cancer Research Center at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute. He obtained his doctorate in Breast Biology from the University of Surrey in Guildford, UK and trained as a post-doctoral fellow at the University of...

Dr. Rosette Lidereau received her PhD (1987) from Paris University, France. From 1992 - 2013 she served as a Research Director of the INSERM (Institut National des Sciences et de la Recherche Médicale), where from 2000-2013 she was in charge of the head of the INSERM...

Dr. Nancy Uan-Tsin Lin is a medical oncologist at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Clinical Director of the Breast Oncology Center at Dana-Farber, and Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Lin received her medical degree at Harvard Medical School...

Dr. Marc E. Lippman, MACP, was named the Kathleen and Stanley Glaser Professor of Medicine at the University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine, and was named Chairman of the Department of Medicine in May 2007. Previously Dr. Lippman was the John G. Searle...

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. Merajver was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She began her graduate studies in physics at the University of Buenos Aires but continued at the University of Maryland after she emigrated to the US, due to the difficult political situation in Argentina in the early...

Dr. Kathy Miller is Associate Professor and Sheila D. Ward Scholar at the Indiana University School of Medicine, Division of Hematology/Oncology. She is an active member of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group and the...

Dr. Marsha A. Moses is the Julia Dyckman Andrus Professor at Harvard Medical School and the Director of the Vascular Biology Program at Children's Hospital Boston. She received a doctorate in Biochemistry from Boston University and completed a National Institutes of...

Dr. Park is an Associate Professor of Oncology with a Joint Appointment in the Whiting School of Engineering. He grew up in Saginaw, Michigan and attended The University of Chicago receiving his A.B. degree in Biology in 1989. He then pursued dual degree training at...

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...

Dr. Piccart is Professor of Oncology at the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) and Director of Medicine at the Jules Bordet Institute, in Brussels, Belgium. Earning her medical degrees at the ULB and oncology qualifications in New York and London, she is also member...

Dr. Kornelia Polyak is Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and in the Department of Medical Oncology at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. She is also Principal Investigatorat the Harvard Stem Cell Institute. The goal of Dr. Polyak’s laboratory is to...

Dr. Porter obtained her medical degree in 1987 from the University of New Mexico and completed her residency in Pathology at the University of Washington where she was a recipient of the American Cancer Society Clinical Oncology Fellowship. She joined the FHCRC in 1993...

Dr. David Rimm is a Professor in the Department of Pathology at the Yale University School of Medicine. He completed an MD-PhD at Johns Hopkins University Medical School followed by a Pathology Residency at Yale and a Cytopathology Fellowship at the Medical College of...

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

Dr. Joseph Sparano is Professor of Medicine and Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Women's Health at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and Associate Chairman of the Department of Oncology at Montefiore Medical Center. He currently serves as the faculty...

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...

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, in the ABL-Basic Research Program at the National Cancer Institute's Frederick Cancer Research and...

Dr. George F. Vande Woude received his M.S. (1962) and Ph.D. (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....

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 BA, MD, and internship at Ohio State University and Washington University, Dr. Weiss was recruited to the Division of Hematology/Oncology at the University of Michigan in 1978. Most recently, Dr. Weiss served as the Division Chief of Molecular...

Dr. Eric P. Winer 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 Alliance for...

Dr. Xiang (Shawn) Zhang is an Assistant Professor at Lester and Sue Smith Breast Center of Baylor College of Medicine. He received his doctoral degree from Columbia University in the City of New York. In his graduate work in Dr. Lawrence Chasin’s laboratory, Dr....