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.

Treatment

Every cancer is as unique as each patient. Thanks to research, we now know that no two cancers are the same and have evolved from a one-size-fits-all approach to treatment to tailored therapies and more effective drugs. With more personalized treatment comes improved outcomes.

Our researchers know that a treatment’s benefits, as well as its risks, differ for each person. The type of breast cancer, the stage of the disease and the characteristics of the tumor, along with one’s lifestyle and medical history, are all taken into consideration. Our aim? To find the least invasive, most effective option that will minimize adverse effects while maximizing success for each patient. We like to call this “outsmarting cancer.”

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...

Kathy S. Albain is Professor of Medicine (tenured) at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine and is a Dean’s Senior Scholar. As a member of the Division of Hematology/Oncology, she devotes her clinical practice to patients with breast and lung cancer at...

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...

José Baselga, MD, PhD, is a researcher and clinician focusing primarily on breast cancer. His laboratory focuses on mechanisms that limit the sensitivity to targeted therapy in solid tumors, in particular to PI3K/Akt/mTOR inhibitors and anti-HER2 agents. He has also...

Ross Berkowitz, MD is the William H. Baker Professor of Gynecology at Harvard Medical School and the Director of Gynecology and Gynecologic Oncology at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham and Women's Hospital. In addition, he is also the Co-Director of the...

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...

Julienne E. Bower PhD. is a nationally recognized expert on biobehavioral processes in breast cancer and their impact on health and well-being.  She has conducted pioneering work on neuroimmune interactions in breast cancer survivors, focusing on immune mechanisms...

Dr. Brugge is Chair of the Department of Cell Biology and Co-Director of the Ludwig Center at Harvard Medical School. A graduate of Northwestern University, she did graduate work at the Baylor College of Medicine, completing her PhD in 1975, followed by postdoctoral...

Lisa A. Carey, MD is an experienced clinician-scientist, Division Chief of UNC Hematology/Oncology and Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center Associate Director for Clinical Research. She has developed and been PI of multiple clinical and translational trials and has a...

Eduardo Cazap MD, PhD received his medical degree in 1972 from the University of Buenos Aires and completed a residency in Internal Medicine at the Military Central Hospital and the Universidad del Salvador. He is a founder of the Latin American & Caribbean Society...

Steven Cole is a Professor of Medicine in the Division of Hematology-Oncology at the UCLA School of Medicine. His research maps the molecular pathways by which social and environmental factors influence the activity of human, viral, and tumor genomes. He pioneered...

Dr. Connolly is an Assistant Professor of Oncology at the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins. Her principal research activities consist of designing and conducting clinical trials that test investigational new drugs in the treatment of breast...

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...

Fifteen years ago, Alan D’Andrea began to study the molecular pathogenesis of Fanconi Anemia (FA), a human genetic disease characterized by bone marrow failure, cancer susceptibility, and cellular hypersensitivity to DNA crosslinking agents. Dr. D’Andrea...

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...

Angelo Di Leo is Head of the Sandro Pitigliani Medical Oncology Dept. at the Hospital of Prato, Istituto Toscano Tumori, Italy, since September 2003. He trained at the National Cancer Institute in Milan, where he worked for seven years. From 1996 to 2003, he was with...

Dr. Susan Domchek is Professor of Medicine and the Basser Professor in Oncology at the Perelman School of Medicine of the University of Pennsylvania. She is the Executive Director of the Basser Research Center for BRCA1/2 at the Abramson Cancer Center at the University...

Professor Mitch Dowsett, FMedSci, PhD, is Head of the Academic Department of Biochemistry and Head of the Centre for Molecular Pathology at the Royal Marsden Hospital; Professor of Biochemical Endocrinology at the Institute of Cancer Research; and Professor of...

Shelton Earp is the Lineberger Professor of Cancer Research, Director of UNC Cancer Care and former Director of the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer.  In these roles, he has helped develop basic, clinical and public health research and cancer care at one of the...

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...

Dr. Stanislav Emelianov is a Cockrell Professor of Biomedical Engineering, co-Director of the Center for Emerging Imaging Technologies, and Director of Ultrasound Imaging and Therapeutics Laboratory at the University of Texas, Austin. He is also a Professor of Imaging...

Dr. Esserman is a surgeon and breast cancer oncology specialist, and is the Director of the Carol Franc Buck Breast Care Center at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF).   In 1996, she started the Center of Excellence for Breast Cancer Care at...

Carol Fabian received her MD, internal medicine and oncology training from the University of Kansas School of Medicine in Kansas City, Kansas.  Dr. Fabian joined the faculty at the University of Kansas Medical Center in 1977 and currently holds the rank of...

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. 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....

Dr. Monica Fornier is an Associate Member at the Breast Medicine Service of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and Assistant Professor at Weil Cornell Medical College. She specializes in the treatment of breast cancer. She is also an Assistant Professor at the...

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...

Bruce G. Haffty, MD is Professor and Chairman, Department of Radiation Oncology, Rutgers-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and New Jersey Medical School and Associate Director, Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey. His medical school training, internship, residency...

Adrian L. Harris, MD, DPhil is the Professor of Medical Oncology at the University of Oxford and Director of the Cancer Research UK Medical Oncology Unit. He is a Consultant Medical Oncologist at the National Health Service, Oxford Radcliffe Hospital Trust. It is a...

Daniel Hayes, MD is the Clinical Director of the Breast Oncology Program at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center (UMCCC) and the Stuart B. Padnos Professor of Breast Cancer Research. He received a AB (1974) and a MS (1977) at Indiana University, his...

Gabriel Hortobagyi, MD is Professor in the Department of Breast Medical Oncology and directs the Breast Cancer Research Program at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. He is Past President of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and is one of...

Kathryn B. Horwitz, PhD joined the faculty at the University of Colorado after undergraduate studies at Barnard College, graduate studies at the UT Southwestern Medical School and postdoctoral work at UT San Antonio. Research in her laboratory is both basic and...

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...

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...

Mien-Chie Hung, PhD is the Vice President for Basic Research, and Professor and Chair of the Department of Molecular and Cellular Oncology at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Dr. Hung is a basic scientist with a translational vision. Dr. Hung is a...

Dr. Ince received his PhD in Pharmacology from Cornell and completed clinical training at Massachusetts General Hospital, Brigham and Women's Hospital, and Harvard Medical School. Dr. Ince was a visiting clinical scientist at Massachusetts Institute of Technology,...

Dr. Joyce is an Associate Member in the Cancer Biology Program at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) and an Associate Professor in Weill Cornell University Graduate School of Medical Sciences. She received her doctorate in Biology from the University of...

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. 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. 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...

Ursula A. Matulonis, MD, is Medical Director and Disease Center Leader of the Medical Gynecologic Oncology Program at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School.  Her research focuses on developing new targeted...

Heather McArthur, MD, MPH is a medical oncologist with a clinical practice dedicated to the care of patients with breast cancer. Her research activities are focused on innovations in the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer, with a particular interest in novel...

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...

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...

Tharcisse Mpunga, MD, MSc, has been the Medical Director of Butaro Hospital in Rwanda since 2009. He led the development of Butaro's acclaimed new hospital facility that opened in 2011, serving a predominantly poor, rural population of about 350,000 people in...

Dr. Larry Norton is Medical Director of the Evelyn H. Lauder Breast Center at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. He is a founder of The Breast Cancer Research Foundation and has served as its Scientific Director since the Foundation's inception in 1993.Dr....

Dr. Olopade's research interests are diverse and include: 1) treatment of breast cancer, especially in young or pregnant women, 2) familial cancers; 3) molecular genetics of cancer; 4) cancer risk assessment and chemoprevention; 5) breast cancer and minority...

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. Clodia Osipo received her PhD in Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry from Loyola University in 2002 while working under Dr. Allen Frankfater. Thereafter, she did her post-doctoral fellowship at the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of the Feinberg School...

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...

Edith A. Perez, MD, a hematologist/oncologist at Mayo Clinic, is Deputy Director at Large for the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center in Florida. She is Chair of the Mayo Clinic Breast Cancer Translational Genomics Program, Group Vice Chair of the Alliance for Clinical Trials in...

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...

Dr. Pierce completed residency in Radiation Oncology at Pennsylvania and was a senior investigator at the National Cancer Institute (NCI). She joined the Department of Radiation Oncology at Michigan in 1992, where she is currently Professor of Radiation Oncology and...

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. Press is a Professor in the Department of Pathology and holds the Harold E. Lee Chair in Cancer Research at the University of Southern California’s Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center. Dr. Press is a board certified pathologist, directs the USC Breast Cancer...

Dr Pusztai is Professor of Medicine at Yale University and Chief of the Breast Medical Oncology Section at the Yale Cancer Center. He is also Co-Director of the Cancer Center Genomics and Genetics Program. Dr. Pusztai received his medical degree from the Semmelweis...

Dr. Rae received a BS in biology from the University of Pittsburgh and PhD in pharmacology from Georgetown University. In graduate school he combined his interest in breast cancer research with cutting-edge aspects of pharmacology including personalized medicine which...

Neal Rosen, MD, PhD, is the Director of the Center for Mechanism-Based Therapeutics at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and a Member in the Program in Molecular Pharmacology and Chemistry. His major interests include the study of the key molecular events 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...

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. 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...

Lawrence N. Shulman, MD, is Chief of Staff, Senior Vice-President for Medical Affairs, and Chief, Division of General Oncology, Department of Medical Oncology, at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI). He is also Director of DFCI’s Center for Global Cancer Medicine...

Ian E. Smith, MD, FRCP, FRCPE, is Professor of Cancer Medicine at The Royal Marsden Hospital and Institute of Cancer Research, London, and Head of the Breast Unit at The Royal Marsden Hospital. His principal clinical research interests have been in breast cancer, lung...

Annette L. Stanton, PhD, is Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry/Biobehavioral Sciences at the University of California, Los Angeles, senior research scientist at the UCLA Cousins Center for Psychoneuroimmunology, and a member of the Center for Cancer Prevention and...

Dr. Fraser Symmans is Professor and Director of Research Operations in the Department of Pathology at MD Anderson Cancer Center, where he practices Breast Surgical Pathology and Cytopathology and also directs the Breast Cancer Pharmacogenomics Laboratory. He received...

Robert H. Vonderheide, MD, D. Phil, is Professor of Medicine and the Hanna Wise Professor in Cancer Research at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and an investigator of the Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute. He is a member of the...

Dr. Shaomeng Wang's primary research interest is the discovery and development of novel small-molecule therapeutics for the treatment of human breast cancer and other types of cancer focusing on targeting apoptosis and epigenetics pathways. Dr. Wang has built 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. Wolchok is Chief of the Melanoma and Immunotherapeutics Service, Associate Attending Physician at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) with an expertise in the treatment of metastatic melanoma. Dr. Wolchok has helped establish MSKCC as a leader in the...

Antonio Wolff received his medical degree from the Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, completed a residency at Mount Sinai (NY) and fellowship at Johns Hopkins. He is a Professor of Oncology at The Johns Hopkins Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center. His...

Dr. Gerburg Wulf is an Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and an Attending Physician in the Breast Oncology Group at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) and the Dana-Farber Harvard Cancer Center (DFHCC).  She received her medical...

Dr. Zellars’s research aims to improve the facility, safety and efficacy of radiation for breast cancer. He has designed and completed two phase 1 trials evaluating partial breast irradiation and concurrent chemotherapy, a phase III trial evaluating cardiac...