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BREAST CANCER RESEARCH COUNCIL

The Breast Cancer Research Council is made up of advocates, scientists, clinicians and representatives from industry and nonprofit health organizations who have extensive interest in breast cancer issues.

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 unanswered 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.

2023-2024 BREAST CANCER RESEARCH COUNCIL MEMBER

Sharon Pitteri, Ph.D.

Scientist, Stanford University

Sharon Pitteri is an Associate Professor at the Canary Center at Stanford for Cancer Early Detection in the Department of Radiology at the Stanford University School of Medicine.  She is a member of the Stanford Cancer Institute, Stanford Bio-X Program, and Stanford Cancer Biology Program.  She received her bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from Carleton College and her PhD in Chemistry from Purdue University.  Dr. Pitteri did her postdoctoral research in Molecular Diagnostics at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.  Her current research focuses primarily on breast and prostate cancers and the identification of proteins and other molecules that are indicative of early stage and/or aggressive cancer in blood, tissue, and proximal fluids.  Her lab develops and applies mass spectrometry-based methods to study protein glycosylation in order to better understand cancer biology and ultimately improve cancer diagnosis.  Dr. Pitteri has received funding for her research by the National Institutes of Health, Canary Foundation, American Society for Mass Spectrometry, California Breast Cancer Research Program, and Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Program. 

Term: 9/1/2019 - 8/31/2023

Erika Bell, Phd

Advocate, Bay Area Cancer Connections 

Erika Bell is the Director of Cancer Information and Education at Bay Area Cancer Connections (BACC), a community-based non-profit that supports people with breast or ovarian cancer.  In this role she provides health education, personalized research, and medical decision-making support to clients.  She has been with the organization for 12 years and is passionate about her work and the positive impact that it has on empowering people during a difficult time in their lives. 

Erika earned an undergraduate degree in Biology from Cornell University and a doctorate degree in Molecular and Cellular Biology and Biochemistry from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF).  During her graduate studies at UCSF, Erika’s research focused on the molecular mechanisms that control cell division.  Her post-doctoral studies aimed to elucidate the role of the Ras signaling pathway in the genetic disorder Neurofibromatosis Type-1.  She also has experience in the biopharmaceutical industry. 

Term: 9/1/22-8/31/25

CLARA OMOGBAI, DrPH, MPH, MLS

Project Director, California Health Collaborative

Clara Omogbai is the Project Director for the California Health Collaborative’s Every Woman Counts (EWC) program covering seven of the State’s ten regions. She has been with the program which is housed within the California Department of Health Care Services’ Cancer Detection and Treatment Branch for over 13 years. She has a master’s degree in Library and Information Science from the University of Ibadan and a doctorate from Loma Linda University. Also a graduate of Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine and Loma Linda University School of Public Health, Dr. Omogbai has worked extensively on various Public Health interventions as a Consultant with ETR on HIV/AIDS programs, and as a Researcher at Loma Linda University where she developed curriculum for prostate cancer screening for African American men. She is actively involved with Susan G Komen Inland Empire, American Cancer Society and Inland Empire Access to Cancer Care Coalition, and has presented some of her research work such as the connection between breast cancer and beauty products among Black Women at the American Public Health Association annual conference. Her research interest include Women’s Health, Chronic Diseases, Disparities and Access to Care.

Term: 9/1/20-8/31/2023

Chritopher Clinton Conway

Christopher Clinton Conway is CEO and Board Member of the Tower Cancer Research Foundation in Beverly Hills, now home to the Dr. Susan Love Fund for Breast Cancer Research. An attorney and global tax expert, Conway earned an A.B. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, a J.D. from Washington University in St. Louis and was a visiting scholar in taxation at Northwestern University School of Law in Chicago. He launched his career assisting former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and First Lady Rosalynn Carter create an innovative, global health agenda, and win the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002, at The Carter Center of Emory University.

A sought-after speaker and consultant, Mr. Conway is well known for his emphasis on outcomes, efficiency and style. A television, print and online media contributor, he was most recently featured on Bloomberg Television and in publications including: The Wall Street Journal, W Magazine, Town & Country Magazine and The New York Times International Edition.

Term: 9/1/2023 - 8/31/2026

Kelly Shanahan, MD

Advocate, METAvivor

In 2008, Kelly Shanahan had everything going for her: a busy and successful ob-gyn practice; a precocious 9 year old daughter; and a well used passport from traveling all over the world with her family to attend conferences, with a liberal dose of vacation on the side. When she was diagnosed with stage IIB breast cancer, she considered it a mere bump in the road.

And for five years, breast cancer was an aside, something to put in the past medical history section of forms. Even when she developed sudden back pain, Kelly never thought it could be breast cancer rearing its ugly head – a pulled muscle, a herniated disc maybe, but not what it turned out to be: metastatic breast cancer in virtually every bone in her body, with a fractured vertebrae and an about to break left femur. Kelly was diagnosed in 2013, on her 53rd birthday.

Neuropathy from the chemo cost her her career, but she has found a new purpose in advocacy. Kelly is on the board of METAvivor, a member of the Metastatic Breast Cancer Alliance, a Komen Advocate in Science,  on the symptom intervention committee of the Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology, a grant reviewer and research advocate. She is passionate about getting patients to the table in the design, implementation, and follow up of clinical trials, especially as she is now enrolled in a clinical trial and has a LOT of feedback!

Follow her on Twitter @stage4kelly.

Kelly Shanahan is a mother, a wife, a daughter, a doctor, a woman LIVING with metastatic breast cancer.

Term: 9/1/2023-8/31/2026

Lori Petitti, BS, MBA

Advocate, Breast Cancer Care and Research Program

Lori Petitti was diagnosed in 2010 with lobular breast cancer and became a founding member of the Lobular Breast Cancer Alliance (LBCA).   Lori is active with the Breast Cancer Care & Research Fund (BCCRF), a group of advocates who focus on education, research and advocacy.  She helped initiate a successful micro-grant program offered annually by BCCRF to non-profit breast cancer advocacy groups and institutions. Lori also volunteers as a mentor for ABCD and SHARE, organizations that provide support and guidance for those newly diagnosed with breast cancer. Lori is a National Breast Cancer Coalitions Project LEAD graduate and and mentor.  She participates as a consumer reviewer for the Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Program, is a member of the Patient Advocate Advisory Board for LBCA and is on the Love Army of Women Scientific Advisory Committee. 

Term: 9/1/2023-8/31/2026

Bryan Goldner, DO

Scientist/Clinician, Kaiser Permanente Baldwin Park Medical Center

Bryan Goldner is currently a surgeon and partner with Southern California Permanente Medical Group (SCPMG) and the Director of the Breast Center at Kaiser Permanente Baldwin Park Hospital, an NAPBC accredited breast center. As chair for the Regional Breast Cancer Surgery Group and co-chair for the Multidisciplinary Breast Cancer Group for SCPMG, Dr Goldner has been able to ensure the highest level of care for, not only his own medical center, but also the Southern California Kaiser Permanente region of 4.5 million members.  He leads the effort to maintain his own hospital’s NAPBC accreditation, the gold standard for breast centers, as well as assisting other regional medical centers in maintaining theirs. His research has been published in various medical journals including The Annals of Surgical Oncology and the Journal of the American College of Surgeons.

Along with his roles within SCPMG, Dr Goldner is a Clinical Instructor for the Harbor/UCLA Department of Surgery and is a well-respected member of numerous national surgical organizations including the Society of Surgical Oncology, the American Society of Breast Surgeons, and a fellow of the American College of Surgeon.  He is a graduate of Kansas City University School of Medicine and Biosciences.  He completed his general surgical residency at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, and a 1-year clinical surgical oncology fellowship at City of Hope Medical Center in Duarte. 

Term: 9/1/21-8/31/24

Barbara Perry, MHSL

Non-Profit, San Diego Black Nurses Association

Barbara Ann Perry is a graduate of the University of Michigan School Of Nursing were she received a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing. Barbara also graduated from the University Of San Francisco School Of Health Science where she received a Master’s of Science in Health Systems Leadership.

Barbara’s philosophy of health care is when a person experiences health issues and stressors it’s not uncommon for their lives to unravel. Barbara’s greatest passion is to ensure that patients receive the highest quality of health care and support available for patients, family, and loved ones regardless of ethnicity. Treat the patient in the manner you would care for Jesus Christ. This would ensure that each patient would receive the utmost care to foster their healing process.

Intensive Care nurse to Home Health nurse in the inner city of Detroit, Michigan. The inner city experience offered her the ability and feeling of giving back and serving those that are less fortunate. After three years of loyal service Barbara joined the Traveling Nurse Association and traveled throughout the country on short term assignments. The joy of traveling led her to serving her country as a member of the United States Army Nurse Corp. 

The aspiration to teach has always been a part of Barbara nursing desire. Barbara has held positions as Clinical Nurse Instructor for both Grossmont Community College and Concord College both in the San Diego County of CA.

Barbara has multiple family and close friends that have been stricken with the diagnosis of Breast Cancer. For those reason's Barbara has been an active advocate for Breast Cancer. Participation in multiple Susan B. Komen walks in addition to educational presentations, donating vehicles and attending the National Cancer Advisory Board conferences.

Term: 9/1/2023-8/31/2026

Phyllis Howard, MSN, FNP, CDCES

Advocate, Sister to sister African-American Support Group

Phyllis Howard recently retired from Contra Costa County Health Services in March 2021, as a family nurse practitioner for 25 years in Family Practice, serving a multicultural and diverse population. Prior to working as a family nurse practitioner, she worked at Alta Bates Medical Center in the Intensive Care Unit supporting , teaching and monitoring critically ill patients from 1986-1996. She received both her MSN and BSN from Sonoma State University, in addition to her Associate degree in Nursing from Merritt College. Phyllis is a Board Certified Family Nurse Practitioner since 1995, Registered Nurse since 1986 and Certified Diabetes Care and Educational Specialist since 2007. Phyllis’s interest in breast cancer research developed after being diagnosed with Breast Cancer in 2009 and while being treated at UCSF for her cancer care, she was enrolled and participated in a five year clinical trial looking at aggressive treatment in early stage breast cancer.

Term: 9/1/21-8/31/24

Thomas Jascur, PhD

Private Industry, Invitae

Thomas Jascur is a clinical genomics scientist at Invitae, a San Francisco based clinical genetic testing company. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Basel, Switzerland, and completed his postdoctoral training at Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center in San Diego, California. After early research that focused on the molecular mechanisms of signal transduction by tyrosine kinases, DNA repair, and cell cycle arrest he became involved in cancer research at Baylor University Medical Center and in genomics research to identify novel genes that cause rare diseases at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, TX. He has published research papers in leading journals and has experience in writing grant proposals that were funded by the NIH as well as serving as grant reviewer.
In 2019 an immediate family member of Thomas Jascur was diagnosed with breast cancer. This experience has given him direct insight in the process of diagnosis, enrollment in a clinical trial, chemotherapy, surgery, radiation therapy, and follow-up treatment that comes with such a diagnosis, and appreciation for the challenges of dealing with the potentially life altering consequences of this disease.

Term: 9/1/2022-8/31/2025

Maura Dickler, MD

Private Industry, Genentech

Dr. Maura Dickler presently serves as the Vice President and Global Head, Product Development
Oncology, Breast and Gynecologic Cancers at Genentech/Roche. She also serves as voluntary Clinical
Assistant Physician at Bellevue/NYU, precepting/teaching oncology fellows in clinic. Maura joined Genentech in July 2021 after working for more than 20 years as a breast cancer medical oncologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) in New York. She also served as Vice President of Late Phase Oncology Development at Eli Lilly from 2018 - 2021. She attended The College at the University of Chicago and earned her MD degree at the University of Chicago Pritzker School of
Medicine. She completed her residency training at the University of Chicago Hospitals, followed by a
fellowship in hematology/medical oncology at MSKCC. In 1998 she joined the faculty and was promoted to an Associate Member of the Breast Medicine Service and an Associate Professor of
Medicine at the Weill Medical College of Cornell University. She also served as Section Head of the Endocrine Therapy Clinical Research Program and Interim Head of the Breast Medicine Service. 

Term: 11/13/23 - 8/31/26

salma shariff-Marco, PhD

Scientist/Clinician, UCSF School of Medicine

Salma Shariff-Marco is an Associate Professor in the Department of Epidemiology & Biostatistics at the University of California San Francisco. She is a social and behavioral scientist with a research portfolio focused on understanding the role of social determinants of health in shaping and perpetuating health disparities. One main area of focus is on place and health, evaluating how neighborhood (e.g., social, built, and physical environment attributes) shapes cancer-related health behaviors and outcomes across the cancer continuum. In addition, her research includes efforts to better characterize neighborhoods for population health studies (neighborhood archetypes, virtual audits with Google Street View). Another area of research includes understanding how factors related to social status (race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and immigration) impact cancer disparities, particularly applying an intersectional lens. Dr. Shariff-Marco is currently leading studies on the multilevel drivers of liver cancer disparities, the associations between residence in ethnic enclaves and cancer outcomes, and the impact of structural racism on mortality. Dr. Shariff-Marco is also a co-Investigator of the Greater Bay Area Cancer Registry, a part of the California Cancer Registry and the NCI Surveillance Epidemiology End Results (SEER) Program. She is also co-Director of the Biostatistics & Population Research Core of the Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Term: 10/25/2022-8/31/2025 

Svetlana Popova, MD, MPH

Ex-Officio, CDHCS - Every Woman Counts Program

Svetlana Popova has worked at the Cancer Detection Section (CDS), California Department of Public Health since February 2009. She serves as a Public Health Medical Officer at the Benefits Division, Department of Health Care Services. As a medical advisor she assists in developing, implementing, monitoring and evaluation clinical interventions and provider education and trainings for “Every Woman Counts, (EWC)” program, which provides free breast and cervical cancer screening, diagnostic, patient navigation services, health education and outreach. 

Dr. Popova was the Principal Investigator (PI) for California Colorectal Cancer Control Program (CRCCP) and California National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program (NBCCEDP), federal part of “Every Woman Counts” Program. She is a member of California Dialogue on Cancer (CDOC) Executive Committee and Advisory Committee for California’s Comprehensive Cancer Control Plan. She also serves as a medical consultant for The Prostate Cancer Treatment Program (PCTP), aka IMProving Access, Counseling & Treatment for Californians with Prostate Cancer (IMPACT). 

Dr. Popova received her medical degree at the Urals State Medical Academy in Russia in 1996. She was a part of the international team working for the Medical Education Partnership Project with Yale School of Medicine, Rochester School of Medicine and SUNY, sponsored by USAID/IREX. She was also involved with many other international projects sponsored/funded by CDC and John Hopkins University in the area of Reproductive, Maternal and Infant Health.  Dr. Popova held the position of Director of Patient Services at the American Medical Center in Kiev, Ukraine.

Dr. Popova completed UC Davis Family and Community Medicine Residency Program in 2006 and 2-year fellowship programs: Women's Health and Primary Care Outcome Research at UC Davis Health System and received MPH degree from UC Davis in 2008. The areas of her interest are Preventative Medicine, International and Women's Health.

Lesley Taylor, MD

Medical Specialist, City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center

Dr. Lesley Taylor is a Breast Surgical Oncologist and Assistant Clinical Professor at City of Hope comprehensive Cancer Center in Duarte, Los Angeles county, where she has served diverse patients and focused on global health and disparities research in Ethiopia for a decade.  In addition to her clinical activities as a breast cancer surgeon, Dr. Taylor is a clinical instructor for surgical oncology fellows and surgery residents, and she also mentors diverse Ethiopian graduate students in breast cancer research.  She is the director of several international, interdisciplinary programs focused on strengthening breast cancer education, research, and care in Ethiopia and sub-Saharan Africa.  Dr. Taylor received her undergraduate degree at Northwestern University in 1998 and earned her medical degree at New York Medical College in 2005.  She completed surgical residency at Montefiore-Albert Einstein College of Medicine in 2010, followed by specialized fellowship training in Breast Surgical Oncology at Columbia University 2011.  She moved to Los Angeles, California in 2012 where she briefly enjoyed private practice before joining City of Hope in 2014.  Dr. Taylor serves as a technical consultant for the WHO-Global Breast Cancer Initiative. 

Term: 9/1/2023-8/31/2026

Svasti Haricharan, PhD.

Scientitst, Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute

Svasti Haricharan is an Associate Professor of Biology at San Diego State University cross-appointed to the Cancer Biology and Signaling Program, University of California San Diego Moores Comprehensive Cancer Center. She is a cancer researcher focused on understanding how the host demographic (including sex, race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and age) alters the molecular biology of cancer cells. She combines patient tumor data analysis, translational molecular biology tools and traditional animal models to address how these molecular alterations affect tumor progression and treatment response, and how they can be leveraged for better diagnostic and therapeutic strategies. 

Term: 9/1/2023-8/31/2026

Hisashi Tanaka, PhD.

Scientitst, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

Hisashi Tanaka is a Professor of Surgery and Biomedical Sciences at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. Dr. Tanaka has been in Cedars-Sinai since 2014 and is conducting scientific research in the areas of cancer genetics and genomics. Dr. Tanaka studies to understand the basic mechanisms of how DNA is altered in breast tumors and to translate the knowledge into clinical applications with support from the National Institute of Health and the Department of Defense. Prior to Cedars-Sinai, Dr. Tanaka was an Assistant Professor at the Department of Molecular Medicine, Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine in Cleveland, OH.

Dr. Tanaka received his medical degree at Kyoto University Faculty of Medicine in Japan and was trained as a surgical oncologist. During this period, Dr. Tanaka saw many cancer patients who developed very aggressive tumors and recognized the necessity of transformational developments leading to new approaches for cancer patients. Dr. Tanaka then started cancer research at the Kyoto University Graduate School of Medicine and received a Ph.D. in surgical oncology. He continued his DNA research at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, WA, as a postdoctoral fellow and staff scientist before establishing his independent research program.

Term: 9/1/2023-8/31/2026