Susan G. Komen, the world’s leading breast cancer organization, welcomes McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine affiliated faculty member Steffi Oesterreich, PhD, Professor of Pharmacology and Chemical Biology at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, and 15 other leaders in breast cancer research and advocacy who will serve as Komen Scholars – an international advisory group which helps to guide Komen’s research and scientific programs, education and advocacy work, and public health efforts in the U.S. and abroad.
Says Dr. Oesterreich, “I’m very happy and honored to be part of this group of 16 people from all over the world. I want to support the Komen mission, which is to reduce mortality from breast cancer.”
The new members join 44 current Komen Scholars who since 2010 have advised and provided expertise to Komen in a variety of capacities, including a primary responsibility of leading and participating in the annual peer-review process that Komen uses to fund its research program. At $889 million since 1982, Komen’s is the largest breast cancer research investment of any nonprofit.
“Our newest Komen Scholars bring additional expertise to Komen’s research program and our peer-review process,” said Komen President and CEO Judith A. Salerno, MD, MS. “Very importantly, they serve as experts and advocates for our network of more than 100 Komen Affiliates and in communities around the globe. They share our vision of a world where no one dies from breast cancer. We are delighted to welcome them to our Komen team.”
Komen Scholars are chosen for their knowledge and leadership within the scientific, research and advocacy communities, and for their own contributions to breast cancer research. Scholars bring a wide range of proficiencies across the spectrum of breast cancer science and care, including metastatic breast cancer, immunology, prevention, public health, disparities, and patient advocacy.
“The Komen Scholars are a brilliant group of cancer researchers who bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to our collective fight against this disease,” said Komen Chief Scientific Advisor Dr. George Sledge. “Their expertise goes from the bench to the bedside, and many have already made important contributions to our understanding of the disease, and to its conquest through better diagnosis and treatment.”
Dr. Eric Winer, Chief Scientific Advisor for Komen, spoke highly of the new members as well, saying, “The Komen Scholars include the brightest, most creative, and most hardworking individuals in the field today. They are not only leaders in the field, but support Komen in its fight against all of breast cancer — every stage of the disease, and in every woman and man. We are pleased and proud to partner with them, and support their research efforts.”
Komen Scholars whose terms have ended will continue to partner with the organization through Komen’s research program, network of Affiliates, and other programs combating breast cancer worldwide.