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 (USC) 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...

Dr. Kathy S. Albain, FACP is Professor of Medicine at the Stritch School of Medicine of Loyola University Chicago, and was granted tenure in 2005. Dr. Albain is a Dean’s Senior Scholar. She is a member of the Division of Hematology/Oncology and devotes her clinical...

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,...

José Baselga, MD, PhD has published over 300 peer-reviewed articles, in addition to over 400 abstracts and book chapters. His research interests are in Clinical Breast Cancer and in Translational and Early Clinical Research in the area of Growth Factor Receptors and...

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 Women's...

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...

Dr. Bower is Associate Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry/Biobehavioral Sciences at the University of California, Los Angeles, research scientist at the UCLA Cousins Center for Psychoneuroimmunology in the Semel Institute, and a member of the Jonsson Comprehensive...

Joan Brugge joined the faculty of the Department of Cell Biology at Harvard Medical School in July 1997 and became the Chair of this department in 2004. A graduate of Northwestern University, she did her graduate work at the Baylor College of Medicine, completing her...

Lisa A. Carey, MD is the Richardson and Marilyn Jacobs Preyer Distinguished Professor in Breast Cancer Research in the UNC Department of Medicine, Division of Hematology-Oncology. She graduated from Wellesley College in 1984 with a bachelor's degree in Biology and Art...

Eduardo Cazap is the founder and first President of the Latin American...

Dr. Steve Cole is one of the world's foremost experts on the molecular pathways by which social and environmental factors influence the activity of human, viral, and tumor genomes. He pioneered the introduction of functional genomics approaches into social and...

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...

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...

A graduate of Harvard College, Dr. Alan D’Andrea received his medical degree from Harvard Medical School in 1983. He completed his residency in Pediatrics at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and a fellowship in pediatric hematology-oncology at Dana-Farber Cancer...

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...

Dr. Angelo Di Leo is currently Head of the Sandro Pitigliani Medical Oncology Unit, and Chair of the Oncology Department, at the Hospital of Prato, Istituto Toscano Tumori, Italy, a position which he took up in September 2003. The center is affiliated to the...

Dr. Susan Domchek was recently appointed the Executive Director of the newly founded Basser Research Center at the Abramson Family Cancer Center at the University of Pennsylvania. She is also the Basser Associate Professor in Oncology at the School of Medicine and...

Professor Mitchell Dowsett is Professor of Biochemical Endocrinology, Head of the Academic Department of Biochemistry and Head of Breast Cancer Translational Research at the Royal Marsden Hospital and the Institute of Cancer Research. His research interests are...

Dr. H. Shelton Earp is a graduate of the University of North Carolina School of Medicine. After a medical internship at Vanderbilt and service in the army, he returned to Chapel Hill where he performed his residency and fellowship, joining the faculty in 1976. He is...

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. Stanislav Emelianov is a Cockrell Family Professor and the Director of Ultrasound Imaging and Therapeutics Research Laboratory in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at University of Texas at Austin. Furthermore, Dr. Emelianov is co-Director of the University...

Laura Esserman is Professor of Surgery and Radiology at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and the Director of the UCSF/Mt. Zion Carol Franc Buck Breast Care Center. Dr. Esserman received her undergraduate degree from Harvard and her MD from Stanford...

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 Professor....

Zhen Fan was awarded his medical degree in 1985 from the Medical School of Shanghai Medical University, one of the most prestigious medical schools in China. In 1988, Dr. Fan completed additional studies at the Graduate School of the same university. He received...

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. Monica Fornier is an Assistant Member at the Breast Cancer Medicine Service of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, and specializes in the treatment of breast cancer. She is also an Assistant Professor at the Weill Medical College of Cornell University, New York...

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. Bruce G. Haffty is currently Professor and Chairman of the Department of Radiation Oncology at Rutgers-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and New Jersey Medical School and Associate Director of the Cancer Institute of New Jersey. His medical school training was at...

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 Consulting Medical Oncologist at the National Health Service, Oxford Radcliffe Hospital Trust. The Trust...

Daniel Fleming Hayes, MD, is the Director of the Breast Oncology Program at the University of Michigan Cancer Center, where he is also a Professor of Medicine. The University of Michigan is a federally designated Comprehensive Cancer Center that has placed a particular...

Gabriel Hortobagyi, MD, FACP is Professor of Medicine and Past Chairman of the Department of Breast Medical Oncology and Nellie B. Connally Chair in Breast Cancer at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. He was also the Director of the Breast Cancer...

Dr. Horwitz is a graduate of Barnard College, received a Master's degree from New York University, and a Doctoral degree from the University of Texas, Southwestern Medical School in Dallas. She then joined the Department of Medicine faculty at the University of...

Dr. Susan Band Horwitz is a Distinguished University Professor at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Associate Director for Therapeutics at the Albert Einstein Cancer Center. She grew up in Boston and after graduating from Bryn Mawr College, received her PhD...

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. Mien-Chie Hung is Professor and Chair for the Department of Molecular and Cellular Oncology at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas. He received his undergraduate and graduate degrees from the National Taiwan University in Taiwan and...

Dr. Ince is an Associate Professor of Pathology and director of Tumor Stem Cell Division at the Interdisciplinary Stem Cell Institute, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. After receiving his MD at Hacettepe University in Ankara, Dr. Ince received a PhD...

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 and University of Illinois College of Medicine at Urbana-Champaign. She is an internationally known...

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...

Ursula Matulonis, MD is an Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and the Medical Director and Program Leader of the Gynecologic Oncology Program at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Her research is focused on gynecologic malignancies, and she is the...

Dr. Heather McArthur, MPH, is a medical oncologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center 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...

Dr. Hayley McDaid received her PhD from Queens University Belfast, where she characterized the role of the RIá subunit of the cAMP-dependent protein kinase A in ovarian and breast cancer and utilized a cAMP modulator to suppress the growth of cancer cells lines...

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. Tharcisse Mpunga, Director of Butaro Hospital in Northern Rwanda, holds a degree in General Medicine, and is currently enrolled in a Master’s program in Applied Epidemiology at the National University of Rwanda. He has 10 years of experience in leadership and has...

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....

Funmi Olopade directs a multidisciplinary clinical and laboratory research program in cancer genetics at the University of Chicago Medical Center. This program helps speed the transfer of basic research in cancer genetics to the benefit of people. Dr. Olopade combines...

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 doctorate in Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry from Loyola University Chicago. She did her postdoctoral fellowship at the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University. Dr. V....

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. Edith A. Perez is the Deputy Director at Large for Mayo Clinic Cancer Center in Florida, Group Vice Chair of the Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology, Director of the Breast Program, and the Serene M. and Frances C. Durling Professor of Medicine at Mayo Medical...

Dr. Perou is a member of the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, the Carolina Center for Genome Sciences, and the Scientific Director of the UNC Genomics and Bioinformatics Core Facility. He received his Ph.D. in Cellular and Molecular Biology from the Department...

Dr. Lori Pierce received her medical degree from Duke University in 1985 and completed residency in Radiation Oncology at the University of Pennsylvania in 1989. Pierce was a senior investigator in the Radiation Oncology Branch at the National Cancer Institute (NCI)...

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. Michael F. Press is a board certified pathologist who has authored or co-authored more than 180 papers and is recognized for his work in characterizing molecular genetic alterations of breast cancer. He is a Surgical Pathologist at the USC+Los Angeles County...

Dr. Lajos Pusztai is Chief of the Breast Medical Oncology Section at Yale University Cancer Center and Co-Director of the Cancer Center Genomics and Genetics Program at Yale. He previously led the breast cancer pharmacogenomics program at University of Texas MD...

Dr. Rae received a BS in biology from the University of Pittsburgh and PhD in pharmacology from Georgetown University. Prior to his graduate work, Dr. Rae received several years of training from Marc E. Lippman, then Director of Georgetown's Lombardi Cancer Center....

Dr. Rosen is a Member in the Department of Medicine and in the Molecular Pharmacology and Chemistry Program at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, where he serves as Head of Developmental Therapeutics. He is also a Professor of Pharmacology, Cell Biology and...

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. Schiff is Associate Professor at the Baylor College of Medicine, Sue...

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....

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 in Boston, MA. He is also Director of their Center for Global Cancer Medicine...

Ian Smith is Professor of Cancer Medicine at The Royal Marsden Hospital and Institute of Cancer Research, London, UK He is also Head of the Breast Unit at The Royal Marsden and was Medical Director there from 2000 to 2003 His initial medical training was in...

Annette Stanton 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 Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center. Her...

Dr. Fraser Symmans is Professor and Director of Research Operations in the Department of Pathology at University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. His clinical diagnostic practice is in Breast Surgical Pathology and Cytopathology. Dr. Symmans received his medical...

Dr. Robert Vonderheide is Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and an investigator of the Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute, as well as the Associate Cancer Center Director for Translational Research. He graduated...

Shaomeng Wang received his PhD in Chemistry from Case Western Reserve University in 1992. He did his postdoctoral training at the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health in anti-cancer and anti-HIV drug design and molecular modeling. In 1996, he...

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. Wolchok is currently 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...

Dr. Wolff received his medical degree from the Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (Brazil, 1986). He completed an Internal Medicine residency at the Mount Sinai Medical Center (New York, 1991) and Medical Oncology fellowship at Johns Hopkins (Baltimore, 1995). He...

Dr. Gerburg Wulf is an Assistant 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. She received her medical school and...

Dr. Zellars is a graduate of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. He completed his residency at the University of Michigan in the Department of Radiation Oncology, where he was Chief Resident from 1995-96. He next accepted an appointment as an Assistant Professor of...