Susan G. Komen® Welcomes Leaders in Health Equity, Novel Therapeutics, Bioinformatics and Advocacy to Renowned Breast Cancer Research Program

DALLAS--()--The world’s largest non-profit funder of breast cancer research, Susan G. Komen, today announced new advisory roles for 12 renowned leaders in breast cancer. These women and men will join an esteemed group of breast cancer researchers, clinicians, and advocates who help guide the organization’s education and advocacy work, public health efforts, and $956 million research program – the largest investment in breast cancer research outside of the U.S. government.

On April 1, Lisa Carey, M.D., of UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, and Sandy Finestone, Psy.D., a Komen Advocate in Science from Costa Mesa, CA, became the two newest members of Komen’s Scientific Advisory Board (SAB). The new members bring valuable expertise in clinical research, molecular subtypes of breast cancer and treatment response (Carey) and patient support and research advocacy (Finestone). As global leaders of research, clinical practice and patient advocacy, members of Komen’s SAB help guide the organization’s research programs and priorities.

"Dr. Lisa Carey brings exceptional strengths to the Komen Scientific Advisory Board. A dedicated medical oncologist with a thriving clinical practice, she is also a talented clinical researcher at the national level, leading the Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology Breast Cancer Committee,” said George W. Sledge, Jr., M.D., Chief Scientific Advisor for Komen. “Her research career defines what it means to be a translational researcher, with work that integrates important genomic findings into the clinic. As part of the Carolina Breast Cancer Study (funded for many years by Komen), her work has taught the field important lessons about triple negative breast cancer, particularly as it relates to African-American women. I can think of no finer addition to our board.”

“In Dr. Sandy Finestone we are fortunate to have an individual with such tremendous commitment, talent and experience to join the Susan G. Komen Scientific Advisory Board,” said Jennifer Pietenpol, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Advisor for Komen. “She has advanced breast cancer research and transformed the lives of many individuals and their families suffering from breast cancer through her longstanding service on the Komen Advocates in Science Steering Committee, and on many national peer-review groups. We look forward to Dr. Finestone’s contributions as a member of the Scientific Advisory Board.”

The terms of SAB members Karen Gelmon, M.D., and Cheryl Jernigan, CPA, ended in March. Both leaders have served the organization for many years, creating a positive, lasting impact at both the national and local levels. Both will continue to partner with the organization through Komen’s research program, network of Affiliates, and other programs combating breast cancer worldwide.

“Our organization is fortunate to have learned and benefited from the direction of Karen and Cheryl,” said Victoria Wolodzko, SVP, Mission at Komen. “Their leadership and expertise – Karen as a clinician and Cheryl as a survivor – has helped our research program evolve to focus not only on groundbreaking science, but on those questions that will make the biggest impact for patients. We can’t thank them enough for their contributions and continued support for our mission.”

Komen also welcomes 10 new members to the Komen Scholars – an advisory group of distinguished leaders in breast cancer research and advocacy. The new class of Scholars includes four new patient advocates as members of the Advocates in Science Steering Committee.

Chosen for their knowledge, leadership and contributions to breast cancer research, Komen Scholars lead and participate as reviewers in Komen’s scientific peer review process. They also serve as experts and advocates for Komen’s nationwide network of Affiliates and in communities around the globe.

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

  • Wayne Dornan, Ph.D., Advocates in Science Steering Committee, Smyrna, TN (survivor, research advocacy)
  • Reshma Jagsi, M.D., D.Phil., University of Michigan (radiation oncology, health outcomes, health care systems delivery
  • Marian Johnson-Thompson, Ph.D., Advocates in Science Steering Committee, Durham, NC (co-survivor, research advocacy)
  • Ingrid Mayer, M.D., M.Sci., Vanderbilt University Medical Center (oncology, clinical trials, novel therapeutics)
  • Donald McDonnell, Ph.D., Duke University School of Medicine (cancer biology, endocrinology, novel therapeutics)
  • Julie Palmer, Sc.D., MPH, Boston University (co-survivor, health disparities, epidemiology, breast cancer risk, risk reduction)
  • Amelie Ramirez, Dr. P.H., University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio (health disparities, health care systems delivery, public health)
  • Rebecca Seago-Coyle, MA, Advocates in Science Steering Committee, Rochester, WA (survivor, research advocacy)
  • Sohrab Shah, Ph.D., Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (cancer genomics, computational biology, bioinformatics)
  • Meryl Weinreb, MA, Advocates in Science Steering Committee, Landenberg, PA (survivor, research advocacy)

“We are excited to welcome such an incredible, knowledgeable group to the Komen Scholars. Whether they bring experience from the laboratories, the clinic, or as patients themselves, these individuals are assets to our organization and to the work we are doing to achieve our Bold Goal of reducing the current number of breast cancer deaths in the U.S. by 50 percent by 2026,” said Wolodzko.

Since opening its doors 35 years ago, Komen has invested in breakthrough breast cancer research. Komen also works in communities nationwide to serve women and men facing breast cancer today, investing more than $2.1 billion in treatment, financial and psychosocial support programs to date.

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 $956 million in research and provided more than $2.1 billion in funding to screening, education, treatment and psychosocial support programs, serving millions of people in 60 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


Susan G. Komen
Joni Avery, 972-855-4382

Release Summary

The world’s largest non-profit funder of breast cancer research, Susan G. Komen, today announced new advisory roles for 12 renowned leaders.


Susan G. Komen
Joni Avery, 972-855-4382