Susan G. Komen Names Eight Advisors to Guide Renowned Breast Cancer Research Program

DALLAS – April 6, 2017 – The world’s largest nonprofit funder of breast cancer research, Susan G. Komen, today announced new advisory roles for eight leaders in breast cancer who will guide the organization’s education and advocacy work, public health efforts and help direct Komen’s $920 million research program – an investment in breast cancer research surpassed only by the U.S. government.

On April 1, Jennifer A. Pietenpol, Ph.D., of Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center became Chief Scientific Advisor (CSA) for Komen. A leader in molecular genetics and triple negative breast cancer, Dr. Pietenpol has served as a Komen Scholar since 2010. She joins George W. Sledge, Jr., M.D., of Stanford University of Medicine in the CSA role, responsible for guiding Komen’s Scientific Advisory Board (SAB). As global leaders of research, clinical practice and patient advocacy, members of Komen’s SAB help guide the organization’s research programs and priorities.

“Jennifer Pietenpol is both a world-class breast cancer researcher and a proven organizational leader through her directorship of Vanderbilt’s NCI-designated Cancer Center. She is a superb addition to our leadership,” said Dr. Sledge.

Lisa A. Newman, M.D., MPH, of Henry Ford Health System, is also joining Komen’s SAB. A Komen Scholar since 2016, Dr. Newman’s primary research has focused on ethnicity-related variation in breast cancer risk and outcomes.

“An internationally known breast surgeon and breast cancer researcher, Lisa Newman augments our Scientific Advisory Board’s expertise in aggressive forms of breast cancer and brings a wealth of knowledge on health disparities in breast cancer,” Dr. Sledge added. “Our Bold Goal of reducing breast cancer mortality will benefit hugely from having someone of her talents as part of our SAB.”

Eric Winer, M.D., of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, whose term as CSA ended in March, is moving into a two-year term as Past Chair of Komen’s SAB, effective April 1. Dr. Winer was Komen’s first CSA, and has led the SAB since its creation in 2007.

“We can’t thank Eric enough for his leadership and commitment to the very best in breast cancer science which has helped millions of women and men,” said Komen Board Chair Connie O’Neill. “We are looking forward to many more years of benefitting from Eric’s expertise and his passion for the mission to end breast cancer forever.”

The SAB terms of Amelie Ramirez, Dr.P.H., of The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio and Powel Brown, M.D., Ph.D., of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center also ended in March. Both leaders have made a positive, lasting impact on the organization at both the national and local levels.

“Their generous service to our organization cannot be overstated. We are fortunate to have benefited from their knowledge, and thankful for their continued support,” O’Neill added.

Komen also welcomes six individuals, including two new research advocates, to the Komen Scholars – an advisory group of distinguished leaders in breast cancer research and advocacy who are chosen for their knowledge and leadership within the scientific, research and advocacy communities, and for their own contributions to breast cancer research. These men and women lead and participate as reviewers in Komen’s scientific peer review process, and serve as experts and advocates for Komen’s nationwide network of Affiliates and in communities around the globe.

The newest members to join the Komen Scholars, effective April 1, are:

  • Anne M. Meyn, M.Ed., Advocate in Science Steering Committee member, Houston, TX (research advocacy)
  • Elizabeth A. Mittendorf, M.D., Ph.D. – The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center (immunotherapies)
  • Elizabeth A. Morris, M.D., FACR – Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (diagnostic radiology)
  • Olufunmilayo I. Olopade, M.D. – The University of Chicago (health equity)
  • Ben H. Park, M.D., Ph.D. – Johns Hopkins University (precision medicine)
  • Barbara Segarra-Vázquez, MT, D.H.Sc., Advocate in Science Steering Committee member, San Juan, Puerto Rico (research advocacy)

“We are delighted to welcome these new leaders to the Komen Scholars. Each one of them has made significant contributions to advancing breast cancer, and are committed to helping our organization achieve its Bold Goal of reducing the current number of breast cancer deaths in the U.S. by 50 percent by 2026,” said Victoria Wolodzko, VP of Research and Community Health Program Operations. “It is especially meaningful to have two more patient advocates joining the Komen Scholars. They constantly remind us about the realities of facing breast cancer, and the urgent need for improving the ways breast cancer is detected, diagnosed, treated, and ultimately cured, benefitting both Komen’s research program and the entire field of breast cancer research in the process.”

Since opening its doors 35 years ago, Komen has invested in breakthrough breast cancer research spanning topics from biology to prevention, treatment to metastasis. Komen also works in communities nationwide to serve women and men facing breast cancer today, investing more than $2 billion in treatment, financial and psychosocial support programs to date.


Joni Avery
Susan G. Komen

About Susan G. Komen®
Susan G. Komen is the world’s largest breast cancer organization, funding more breast cancer research than any other nonprofit outside of the federal government while providing real-time help to those facing the disease. Komen has set a Bold Goal to reduce the current number of breast cancer deaths by 50 percent in the U.S. by 2026. Since its founding in 1982, Komen has funded more than $920 million in research and provided more than $2 billion in funding to screening, education, treatment and psychosocial support programs serving millions of people in more than 30 countries worldwide. Komen was founded by Nancy G. Brinker, who promised her sister, Susan G. Komen, that she would end the disease that claimed Suzy’s life. That promise has become Komen’s promise to all people facing breast cancer. Visit or call 1-877 GO KOMEN. Connect with us on social at