BREAST CANCER RESEARCH COUNCIL
Council members are chosen to represent the people who are affected by breast cancer and the institutions that can contribute to the solution. Their passion to prevent, treat and cure breast cancer is driven by practical priorities: to identify the most urgent and unanswereed question about breast cancer, and to find the greatest opportunities for making an impact on the burdens caused by the disease.
The council is responsible for tracking the trends and opportunities for progress that arise in the breast cancer community, making funding recommendations, and planning future directions of the CBCRP.
2016-2017 BREAST CANCER RESEARCH COUNCIL MEMBERS
Private Industry, Genetech
Stina M. Singel is an Associate Medical Director working in oncology product development for Genentech/Roche. Previously, she was a physician-scientist funded by Susan G. Komen Foundation working on identifying novel targets for breast cancer at University of Texas Southwestern (UTSW) Medical Center in Dallas (2010-2014).
Stina graduated Magna Cum Laude from Harvard University in 1995 and subsequently completed her MD, PhD at University of California in San Diego. She stayed at University of California San Diego to complete her internal medicine residency as well as medical oncology fellowship. Stina has worked as a community medical oncologist in Yakima, Washington prior to her academic work at UTSW. She was also a breast oncologist at Parkland Hospital where she was Clinical Instructor in the Breast Oncology Fellowship Clinic and was co-investigator in various phase II-III clinical trials. Currently, Stina is working at Genentech on development of multiple new drugs as treatment for patients with breast cancer.
Non-Profit, ACT for Women and Girls
Sarah Hutchinson is a native of the city of Fresno in California’s Central Valley. Sarah completed her undergraduate degree at California State University, Fresno in History, with an emphasis on social justice movements. After graduating from CSU Fresno, Sarah spent three months volunteering with young women in Kibera - the slum of Nairobi, Kenya – to address social stigma of sexual assault victims. Upon returning home, Sarah served the Central Valley community as an AmeriCorps member, and later worked for University of California, San Francisco’s Fresno Medical Education Program to address adolescent access barriers to reproductive health education and services. Sarah was introduced to ACT for Women and Girls in November 2013. She facilitates the Student Health Advocates for Peer Empowerment (SHAPE) ACTion Team in the immigrant farmworker town of Woodlake, CA exploring reproductive justice at the intersection of economic inequity and racial injustice to increase health access for rural youth residents. Sarah is the lead legislative advocacy coordinator for ACT's policy work, the lead event coordinator, and created the Clinic Access project to monitor teen accessibility of Tulare County clinics. Sarah is currently a Women’s Policy Institute 2017 Fellow, where she continues to address health access barriers of marginalized communities on a statewide level. Sarah uses her passion for intersectional reproductive justice and dismantling access barriers to advance ACT’s reach from rural communities to the state capitol.
Advocate, Bay Area Cancer Connections
Joan Venticinque is a two-time breast cancer survivor brought her first-hand experience with cancer–augmented by the experiences of others from her community by providing a patient perspective to research proposals and studies. She represents the collective views of survivors, patients, family members, and persons affected by cancer. In her past work with the Stanford Cancer Center, she worked one-on-one with patients to meet their needs as they navigated their diagnosis and treatment. At Bay Area Cancer Connections (BCC) (formally Breast Cancer Connections), Palo Alto, CA she served as the Manager of Volunteer Resources. She also served as a Board member of BCC and is the founding member of Bay Area Cancer Connections’ Research Advocacy Program, serving as an Advocate Reviewer for grant proposals submitted to the California Breast Cancer Research Program, Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Program, NCI and PCORI. Similarly, she has served as a Consumer Reviewer for the Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Program, LIVESTRONG and PCORI, and is currently a member of the Breast Science Advocacy Core, (BSAC) Breast Oncology Program, UCSF, San Francisco CA. She has been serving on the Stanford Scientific Review Committee, Stanford Cancer Institute as a community member since 2011. She finds the collaboration and discussions with researchers and clinicians to be an extremely rewarding experience and a benefit for both researchers and patients.
Private Industry, Puma Biotechnology, Inc.
Lisa Eli has more than a decade of experience in Oncology Precision Medicine, specifically in development of targeted therapies and specialized companion diagnostics for breast cancer. She currently serves as Associate Director of Translational Medicine and Diagnostics at Puma Biotechnology, where she focuses on biomarker and diagnostic development for neratinib, a HER2-specific, irreversible tyrosine kinase inhibitor in late-stage clinical development for HER2-driven breast cancer. Prior to that, Eli was employed at N-of-One, which provides clinical interpretation of genetic results, and at Monogram Biosciences, where she developed tissue-based protein assays to elucidate tumor mechanism of action. Eli earned her PhD in 2003 at Stanford University and completed her post-doctoral training at UCSF, both in the fields of DNA damage response and repair.
In addition to her scientific interests, as a carrier of a hereditary BRCA2 mutation, Eli brings strong personal investment to the field of breast cancer research, prevention, and treatment. Eli is an active member of AACR (American Association of Cancer Research) and FORCE (Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered), and is specifically interested in bridging the gap between scientific advancements and clinical care.
Non-Profit, John Wayne Cancer Institute
Dave Hoon, a Professor and Chief of Scientific Intelligence at the John Wayne Cancer Institute, interacts with external academic, industry, government agencies, and international cancer centers to develop innovative translational research opportunities. He has coauthored more than 300 peer-reviewed articles and reviews, primarily related to translational molecular oncology of human solid tumors, and has over 25 patents on his studies. As founding Director of the Department of Molecular Oncology, he continues to pioneer investigations of RNA/genomic/epigenomic biomarkers for diagnostic, prognostic and predictive assessment of residual tumor cells. Dr. Hoon spearheads investigations of circulating DNA/miRNA biomarkers for staging cancer in patients enrolled in phase II/III clinical trials. Dr. Hoon’s team has developed diagnostic tissue biomarkers for molecular staging of sentinel lymph nodes and classification of human solid tumors such as melanoma, breast cancer and gastrointestinal cancer and brain tumors. In the last decade he and his team have designed and conducted biomarker companion studies as part of multicenter international phase II/III clinical trials. On the therapeutic front, Dr. Hoon is examining functional genomic and epigenomic changes as potential targets for development of novel approaches to treat or prevent malignancy. He also works on immunotherapeutics such as human monoclonal antibodies and immunogenetic responses to cancer immunotherapy.
Marjorie Kagawa-Singer’s work in cancer care began as a clinical research nurse in 1969. In 1972, while working for the American Cancer Society (ACS), California Division, she was struck by the fact that there were so few people of color in the ACS as employees, volunteers, or recipients of health education, service and rehabilitation. For the past 40 years, her work in oncology has been geared toward identifying and eliminating the factors that promote the disparities in physical and mental health care outcomes for ethnic minority populations with cancer, primarily focusing on Asian and Pacific Islander communities.
Her work in cancer control spans the cancer care continuum from prevention, screening, and early detection, to treatment, rehabilitation, survivorship,palliative care, and end of life care. She has also published and lectured extensively on issues in cross-cultural health, cancer, pain, grief, and bereavement, end of life decision-making, and quality of life. In addition, Kagawa-Singer strives to define and develop standards of cultural competence in health care because she strongly believes that combining good patient care, aggressive patient advocacy and research are essential to providing optimal cancer care to patients.
Medical Specialist, Marin Cancer Institute
Dr. Francine Halberg is a radiation oncologist at the Marin Cancer Institute specializing in Breast Cancer. Dr. Halberg received her undergraduate degree from Stanford University and her M.D. from Cornell University. She was on the Radiation Oncology faculty of Stanford University, then the University of California, San Francisco prior to joining the team in Marin. Honors include being continually selected for Woodward & White’s “The Best Doctors in America”, top U.S. doctors. Dr. Halberg was also chosen as one of the top doctors in the U.S. by “Who’s Who in North America”, Good Housekeeping Magazine, Redbook, and Ladies Home Journal. She was on Newsweek’s list of top doctors for Cancer in 2015. Dr. Halberg has authored 34 scientific papers, and has lectured widely on breast cancer. In addition to being on the Board of Directors of the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology, she has chaired the ASTRO Task Force on Public Awareness and is currently on the ASTRO guidelines task force for Whole Breast Irradiation. She also served as panel member, then Chair of the FDA Radiologic Devices Panel. She was chosen to be on the National Institute of Health’s Consensus Development Panel for the Treatment of Early Stage Breast Cancer, and has addressed the President’s Breast Cancer Commission. She helped launch the Radiation Oncology Institute, a foundation for radiation oncology research. Dr. Halberg has a longstanding interest in breast cancer research and treatment.
Scientist/Clinician, RAND Corporation
Jeffrey Wasserman is vice president and director of RAND Health. He currently leads the National Health Security Strategy project, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and earlier led projects related to public health entrepreneurship and the relationship between law and public health emergency preparedness. He was co-principal investigator on RAND’s Comprehensive Assessment of Reform Efforts (COMPARE) initiative and led a Gates Foundation funded project on improving diagnostic tools for the developing world. Wasserman is a professor of public policy at the Pardee RAND Graduate School and an instructor in the University of Southern California’s International Public Policy and Management program, where he teaches a course on public policy formulation and implementation. Wasserman received his BA in political science and his MS in public policy analysis from the University of Rochester; his PhD in public policy analysis is from the Pardee RAND Graduate School.
Advocate, Celebrate Life Cancer Ministry
Ghecemy Lopez is a SoCal resident, a 2x Survivor and an Advocate. She has learned how to live life to the fullest after been diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer and a genetic mutation early in life. Soon after completing treatment, she returned to her previous position in Government & Community Relations but also devoted herself to Patient Advocacy. A proud graduate of the Natl. Breast Cancer Coalition (NBCC) Project LEAD program, Ghecemy has collaborated in several local, national and binational research and outreach projects. She has lobbied in Congress supporting breast cancer initiatives and has also served as a consumer reviewer for the U.S. Dept. of Defense CDBCRP. In late 2014, NBCC honored her grassroots contributions with the “Women who get it right” national award. From leadership to behind-the-scene roles, she has been a constant participant in different hospital advisory groups, national and community nonprofits, such as Celebrate Life Cancer Ministry (CLCM). Ghecemy is a survivor advocate member of CLCM, a South Los Angeles Faith-based, Multicultural Health organization that offers spiritual and educational support, promotes and sustain the quality of life of all survivors.
Ghecemy currently works at a Comprehensive Cancer Center in the East side of Los Angeles area, providing Bilingual Cancer Information and Resource Navigation to the most underserved cancer patients who live in the surrounding neighborhoods. In her non-cancer advocacy role, Ghecemy has a special interest for Foreign Languages and At-Risk Youth Mentorship. Ghecemy holds a Bachelor’s in ESL and Multicultural Teaching and a Master’s in Adult Education and Corporate Training.
Advocate, Breast Cancer Social Media
Lori Marx-Rubiner was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2002. As a young woman and mother of a three year old, it was immediately clear that finding connections and resources was going to be a challenge - she simply didn't fit the mold. After completing primary therapy, Lori was committed to using her experience as a breast cancer advocate to support other young women in hopes of making a meaningful difference in the lives of others. In 2011, after nine years of being NED (no evidence of disease), Lori was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer that had spread to her bones. Despite returning to treatment and additional spread to her liver and abdomen, she has redoubled her efforts to change the face of breast cancer. Lori earned her Masters of Social Work and Masters of Communal Service in 1990, and has worked in non-profit management for nearly 25 years, for which she received an honorary doctorate. She is also a graduate of the National Breast Cancer Coalition’s Project LEAD Institute. She has served as an advocate/peer reviewer for the Dept. of Defense Breast Cancer Research Program and PCORI. She serves on Breast Cancer Action’s Speaker’s Bureau and is a member of the steering committee for #BCSM (twitter’s Breast Cancer Social Media chat group). She also serves on clinical research advisory panels representing the voice of patients. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband of over 27 years, John, and their 17 year old son Zachary. She lives fully every day and marvels that, more often than not, our bodies work in wondrous ways.
Advocate, Breast Cancer Action
JoAnn Loulan is a two time breast cancer patient. One was in 1993 and one was in 2011. Her mother died of breast cancer at the age of 53. Both of these factors contributed to her passion to raise over one million dollars for Breast Cancer Action, the watchdog of the breast cancer movement. She has been an activist in many movements (civil rights, women's rights, LBGTQ rights) since 1960 and is working hard to impact breast cancer. She is thrilled to join the council and work to fund research that will further understanding and eradication of breast cancer. Joann got her undergraduate degree in history, political science and sociology from Northwestern University (1970) and her master's degree in counseling psychology from University of San Francisco (1975). She has been in private practice in counseling since 1975. She also worked at UCSF in the Human Sexuality Department from 1975-80. Joann has written three books Lesbian Sex (1984), Lesbian Passion (1987) The Lesbian Erotic Dance (1990) and co-authored Period (1979). She has also authored many chapters in anthologies.
Scientist/Clinician, Sanford-Burnham Prebys. Medical Discovery Institute
Robert Oshima graduated from the University of California Santa Barbara majoring in Cellular Biology. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of California at San Diego in 1973. He joined Dr. Jerry Schneider’s laboratory in the UCSD Medical School to work on the biochemistry of cystinois, a genetic lysosomal storage disease. During that time, he contributed to the development of a treatment that extends the life of patients greatly. He acquired expertise in developmental biology and stem cells in the laboratories of Drs. Boris Ephrussi and Mary Weiss at the Centre National Recherche Scientifique, Gif-sur-Yvette, France in 1975. He continued those studies upon returning to UCSD and then moved to MIT in 1979 where he purified two markers of mouse stem cell differentiation that are widely used in the cancer pathology and developmental studies. He joined the Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute (formerly known as the La Jolla Cancer Research Foundation) in 1982 where he acted as a Program Director in the NCI designated Cancer Center, directed research on stem cells and cancer that resulted in over 100 publications and served as a reviewer for multiple cancer research programs. He has also been an Adjunct Professor of Pathology at UCSD since 1997. He is currently Professor Emeritus and continues to advise and consult in cancer research. His particular cancer research interest is in methods of directing premalignant cancer cells to adopt a normal benign cell fate instead of becoming invasive malignant cancer.
Scientist/Clinician, UCSD Cancer Center
Dr. Navarro is a Professor in the department of Family Medicine and Public Health at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). Since joining UCSD her research agenda and publications have focused on the use of community-based participatory interventions to improve health status and access to health care in underserved communities with a special emphasis on health disparities. Her work builds on innovative community-based health interventions addressing health disparities, and her community health advisor projects have pioneered the field to enhance health and to improve access to health care. The projects developed under her leadership represent innovative research models that are at the vanguard of the community-based participatory health research current trends. She also committed to community service and to training and mentoring. Further, her leadership has been critical to the development of a broad community partner network that has been progressively built and integrated into the work of the academic partner institutions. She is currently serving as director of the Bachelor of Science in Public Health (BSPH) Advanced Practicum (AP).