Breast Cancer Advisory Board

Renee Bernett

Advocate

Renee Bernett is a breast cancer survivor with extensive experience serving as a patient-advocate and lay reviewer for the Department of Defense (DoD) Breast Cancer Research Program Peer Review Panel, as well as for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International, Lay Review Committee. She has served as a member of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Kidney Disease Education Program Steering Committee and the NIH Celiac Consensus Conference. She has also assisted the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness and the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University with their initial programming and outreach efforts, and still participates in the JDRF online diabetes support team program that she helped establish. Mrs. Bernett has received numerous awards and honors including the 2003 Living Beyond Breast Cancer Honoree and was an invited speaker to the National Youth Leadership Forum on Medicine. She holds a masters degree from Villanova University and was employed as a school teacher for 15 years in Pennsylvania. Since 1999, she has devoted countless hours to volunteering in patient-advocacy and grant making organizations. Presently she works as an office administrator, but continues her outreach and awareness efforts to assist those affected by diabetes, celiac and breast cancer via internet connections and breast cancer helpline calls. She became active in juvenile diabetes and celiac disease initiatives following her daughter's diagnosis with those autoimmune disorders. Mrs. Bernett has continued to serve as an ad hoc member/mentor for the DoD Breast Cancer Review Panel since she was first appointed in 2003.

Kapil Dhingra

President
Kapital Consulting

Dr. Kapil Dhingra is the president of Kapital Consulting, a company dedicated to assisting biotechnology, pharmaceutical and diagnostic companies realize clinical and commercial advances in oncology. From 1999 to June 2008, Dr. Dhingra worked in positions of increasing responsibility at Hoffman-La Roche, most recently serving as Vice President, Head, Oncology Disease Biology Leadership Team, and Head, Oncology Clinical Development. Prior to Hoffmann-La Roche, from 1996 to 1999, Dr. Dhingra worked as a Clinical and Senior Clinical Research Physician with Eli Lilly and Company, and from 1989 to 1996, as Clinical Instructor, Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. Throughout his industry career, he maintained an active faculty appointment, initially at Indiana University School of Medicine from 1997 to 1999 as Clinical Associate Professor, and, more recently, at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York from 2000 to 2008. Dr. Dhingra holds an M.B., B.S. degree (equivalent to a US M.D. degree) from the All India Institute of Medical Services, and has performed postgraduate work at the All India Institute of Medical Services, the Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center (New York Medical College), Bronx, NY and Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA.

Matthew Ellis

Professor of Medicine, Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis
Director, Breast Cancer Program

Dr. Matthew James Ellis is Professor of Medical Oncology at the Siteman Cancer Center, Department of Medicine at Washington University in St Louis, Missouri. After obtaining his medical degree at Cambridge University and PhD at the University of London, Dr Ellis completed his professional training at hospitals in the UK and USA. He has received American Board of Internal Medicine certification in Medical Oncology. Dr Ellis’ primary research interests include the identification of genes that affect responses and resistance to endocrine therapy in patients with breast cancer. Using gene microarray analysis, gene sequencing and array comparative genomic hybridization, Dr Ellis is currently investigating the regulation of genes before and after neoadjuvant aromatase inhibitor therapy in patients with ER+ breast cancer. Dr Ellis is an elected Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians in London; he is Vice Chair for Correlative Science for the Cancer and Leukemia Group B Breast Cancer Committee and holds the Anheuser Busch Chair in Medical Oncology at Barnes Jewish Hospital. In addition, Dr Ellis is a member of several National Cancer Institute review panels, journal editorial committees and advisory boards, and has published over 60 papers in peer-reviewed journals, as well as authoring over 20 book chapters and review articles in oncology.

Michelle Esser

Advocate

Michelle Robertson Esser is a breast cancer survivor, diagnosed at the young age of 37 in 2006, who quickly turned into an advocate for her own health and for all women facing breast cancer. Ms. Esser has attended advocate training programs, funded by the Avon Foundation, that include (i) Quality Care Project LEAD in 2007, (ii) Project LEAD Institute in 2008, and (iii) “Day in the Life of a Breast Cancer Researcher” at Fox Chase, in 2008. Ms. Esser served in 2008 and 2009 as a reviewer for the Department of Defense (D.O.D.) Breast Cancer Research program. She volunteers at the Linda Creed Breast Cancer Foundation and serves on the Board of the Young Survival Coalition. In her professional life, Ms. Esser has served as a Senior Staff Attorney since 2005 at Dechert in Philadelphia. she received her undergraduate education at Ursinus College (Collegeville, PA) and both an MBA and law degree at Villanova University (Villanova, PA).

Elaine Gallin

Advocate
Formerly, Program Director for Medical Research, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation

Elaine K. Gallin previously served as the Program Director for Medical Research at the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (DDCF) from 1999 through February 2010. As the Foundation’s first Program Director for Medical Research, she led the creation and management of a portfolio of grant programs that have committed approximately $185 million to supporting clinical research. Dr. Gallin also designed and led the foundation’s $60 million African Health Initiative. Launched in September 2007, this initiative is supporting large-scale health service delivery projects in sub-Saharan Africa that are linked to rigorous operations and implementation research. Before joining the Foundation, Dr. Gallin spent two decades, first as a research physiologist and then as research administrator for the U.S. government, where she last served as the Deputy Director of the Office of International Health Programs in the U.S. Department of Energy. Dr. Gallin has participated in numerous professional committees and review panels. Currently, she is member of the board of directors of the Health Research Alliance (an alliance of non-government research funders), a member of the Forum on Drug Discovery, Development and Translation at the Institute of Medicine and the Sickle Cell Disease Advisory Committee at the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute. Dr. Gallin received her Ph.D. from the City University of New York and completed postdoctoral fellowships at Johns Hopkins University Medical School and Columbia University Medical School

Paul Goss

Chairman, Avon Foundation Scientific Advisory Board
Professor, Department of Medicine, Harvard Medical School
Director, Avon Breast Cancer Center of Excellence, Massachusetts General Hospital

Dr. Paul Goss is the Chairman of the Avon Foundation Scientific Advisory Board. He also serves as Director of the Avon Foundation Breast Cancer Center of Excellence at Massachusetts General Hospital, Director of Breast Cancer Research at MGH and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Goss was educated at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa before pursuing postgraduate training in oncology and a doctorate in hormonal mechanisms of breast cancer at the University of London. He subsequently became Professor of Medicine at the University of Toronto and Director of the Breast Cancer Research Program at the Princess Margaret Hospital before joining Massachusetts General Hospital in September 2004. Dr. Goss’ principal research interest has been to explore the pivotal role of estrogen in the pathogenesis of breast cancer. He chairs a multitude of international clinical trials. His recently completed MA17 study of letrozole after tamoxifen led to FDA approval and changed the practice of oncology worldwide. His translational laboratory program focuses on tumor signatures and mechanisms of endocrine resistance. Dr. Goss has published over 200 manuscripts, sits on numerous international scientific committees and serves as ad hoc reviewer for many scientific and medical journals.

Carrie Hunter

President & CEO
Oncology Consulting International

Carrie P. Hunter, M.D., M.P.H. is president and CEO of Oncology Consulting International (OCI), LLC, a cancer care management, research, education, and training consultancy company dedicated to improving cancer, non-communicable diseases (NCDs), and health outcomes. She collaborates with partners on projects and programs to advance prevention and treatment research, and supports education and training initiatives.

She is a graduate of New York University School of Medicine and is a board-certified medical oncologist. She holds a master’s in public health in epidemiology from Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health in Baltimore. She served as program director for the Community Clinical Oncology Program, Division of Cancer Prevention and Control, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health (NIH), and as program director and project officer for the NIH Women’s Health Initiative. She has also worked in the private sector of the pharmaceutical industry.

Dr. Hunter served on the Executive Council of the African Organisation for Research and Training in Cancer (AORTIC) from 2000-2011, and was VP for the North America Region of AORTIC from 2007-2011.

She is a member of Avon Foundation Scientific Advisory Board; the Board of the African Cancer Center, Lagos, Nigeria; and the Board of Governors of New York University School of Medicine. She served on the Global Health Council’s Roundtable on NCDs that supported civil society/NGO efforts at the U. N. High Level Meeting on NCDs in September, 2011.

Marc Hurlbert

Executive Director
Avon Foundation Breast Cancer Crusade

Marc Hurlbert serves as the Executive Secretary to the Avon Foundation Scientific Advisory Board. He is a pharmacologist by training and has extensive experience in managing medical research programs and grants administration in the voluntary health agency and patient-advocacy arena. Dr. Hurlbert holds an adjunct faculty appointment at the New School University. He received his undergraduate degree in biochemistry from the University of Kansas and his doctorate in pharmacology from the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. He completed his training with a fellowship at New York University Medical Center, Skirball Institute for Biomolecular Medicine. Dr. Hurlbert serves as the Executive Director of the Avon Foundation Breast Cancer Crusade.

Elizabeth Morris

Director, Breast MRI and Radiologist
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center

Dr. Elizabeth Morris is an Associate Radiologist and Director of Breast Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) at the renowned Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. Dr. Morris is clinically trained in breast imaging (MRI, Digital Mammography and Ultrasound). Her research interests involve using MRI for the detection of breast cancer, and she has also studied the use of MRI for staging breast cancer and for screening women at high risk of the disease. Dr. Morris is developing methods to perform needle biopsies under MRI guidance and, in addition, she helps train and supervise residents and fellows in interventional breast procedures as well as image interpretation.

Kenneth Olden

Director, National Center for Environmental Assessment
Environmental Protection Agency

Dr. Ken Olden serves Environmental Protection Agency’s National Center for Environmental Assessment (NCEA) and the Human Health Risk Assessment Research Program. Dr. Olden has a strong legacy of promoting scientific excellence in environmental health. Dr. Olden most recently served as the Founding Dean of the School of Public Health at the Hunter College, City University of New York. Previously, Dr. Olden was the Director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) and the National Toxicology Program (NTP) in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services from 1991-2005. He made history as the first African American to direct one of the National Institutes of Health. In 2005, he returned to his research position as chief of The Metastasis Group in the Laboratory of Molecular Carcinogenesis at the NIEHS, and for the academic year 2006-2007, held the position of Yerby Visiting Professor at the Harvard School of Public Health. He has published extensively in peer-reviewed literature, chaired or co-chaired numerous national and international meetings, and has been an invited speaker, often a keynote, at more than 200 symposia. Ken has won a long list of honors and awards including the Presidential Distinguished Executive Rank Award, the Presidential Meritorious Executive Rank Award for sustained extraordinary accomplishments, the Toxicology Forum’s Distinguished Fellow Award, the HHS Secretary’s Distinguished Service Award, the American College of Toxicology’s First Distinguished Service Award, and the National Minority Health Leadership Award. Alone among institute directors, he was awarded three of the most prestigious awards in public health--the Calver Award (2002), the Sedgwick Medal (2004), and the Julius B. Richmond Award (2005). He was elected to membership in the Institute of Medicine at the National Academy of Sciences in 1994 and appointed member of the Visiting Committee for the Harvard University Board of Overseers from 2007-2010. Ken received his Bachelor of Science in biology from Knoxville College, a Master of Science in genetics from the University of Michigan and a Doctorate in cell biology and biochemistry from Temple University.

Electra Paskett

Marion N. Rowley Professor of Cancer Research
Ohio State University

Electra D. Paskett, Ph.D., became the Marion N. Rowley Professor of Cancer Research at The Ohio State University in 2002. She is the Director of the Division of Cancer Prevention and Control in the College of Medicine, a professor in the Division of Epidemiology in the College of Public Health and the Associate Director for Population Sciences and Program Leader of the Cancer Control Program in the Comprehensive Cancer Center of the Ohio State University (OSU). She is also Director of the Diversity Enhancement Program at the James Cancer Hospital, and immediate past-Chair of the Cancer Control and Health Outcomes Committee of Cancer and Leukemia Group B. She received her doctorate in epidemiology from the University of Washington. Dr. Paskett’s 395 publications showcase her work in intervention research directed at cancer prevention, early detection and survivorship issues specifically among underserved populations. Dr. Paskett successfully competed for a NCI-funded P50, Center for Population Health and Health Disparities, to examine why rates of cervical cancer are high in Appalachia Ohio and is the Principal Investigator of the Ohio Patient Navigator Research Program. She also received funding from the Breast Cancer Research Foundation for the OSU Evelyn Lauder Breast Cancer Prevention through Nutrition Program and has two R01’s to develop and test interventions to promote colorectal cancer screening. Dr. Paskett was elected as a Fellow to the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2004. She is the past-President of the American Society of Preventive Oncology, Deputy Editor of the journal Cancer, Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, and Section Editor of the journal, CANCER. She is a member of the NIH EPIC study section and the newly appointed chair of the Health Disparities Committee of the Alliance for Cooperative Trials in Oncology (ACTION).

Timothy Rebbeck

Professor, Department of Epidemiology
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

Dr. Timothy Rebbeck is a Professor of Epidemiology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. In addition, Dr. Rebbeck holds the positions of Cancer Epidemiology and Risk Reduction Program Leader, Abramson Cancer Center; Director, Center for Population Health and Health Disparities; and Director, Center for Genetics and Complex Traits. Dr. Rebbeck’s primary research interest is in the area of molecular and genetic epidemiology of common cancers. His research focuses on studies of breast, prostate, and melanoma skin cancers. The goal of his research is to identify genes involved in the etiology of these cancers, and to identify interactions of these genes with endogenous and exogenous exposures. These studies use a multidisciplinary approach that combines methods from epidemiology, statistics, molecular biology, and classical genetics. He directs a laboratory for molecular epidemiology that is geared toward the generation of molecular biomarker data for family and epidemiological studies.

Mark Sherman

National Cancer Institute

Dr. Sherman received an M.D. from the University of Chicago in 1983, completed a pathology residency at the New England Deaconess Hospital in 1987, and a fellowship in cytopathology at Montefiore Medical Center in 1988. Until 2001, he was an academic pathologist, mainly at Johns Hopkins, and then joined the National Cancer Institute to ultimately become a Senior Clinician in the Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics. Dr. Sherman conducts trans-disciplinary molecular epidemiological research on cancers of women, including studies of the etiology of breast cancer and early events in breast carcinogenesis. His interests include risk assessment, early detection, and biomarker discovery. Dr. Sherman is a member of several journal editorial boards, including The Journal of the National Cancer Institute, and has served as a reviewer for multiple granting agencies. He also serves on advisory boards for breast cancer research projects conducted outside the NCI and he consults with American Cancer Society on specimen utilization in their large cohorts. Dr. Sherman recently co-chaired a NCI sponsored workshop on the postpartum period and breast cancer risk and received an NIH award to study the role of this critical period in the genesis of early onset breast cancer.