Message from the Breast Cancer Research Council Chair

BCRC Chair Anna M. Wu, Ph.D.
Anna M. Wu, Ph.D.

Greetings! As we embark upon a new funding year for the California Breast Cancer Research Program, we have an opportunity to look back and especially forward.

The CBCRP Director, staff, and council have wrapped up the evaluation and awarding of new grants to 68 California investigators at 22 institutions across the state. Another major event of the past year was the convening of the CBCRP Symposium in Oakland. Attendees were treated to a variety of sessions, including research highlights, poster presentations, breakout sessions, panel discussions, the ever-popular art exhibits, and my favorite—the Town Hall meeting, where all of you were provided the opportunity to pepper us, the council, with your questions, concerns, and suggestions.

Which brings me to the thrust of this message. It is never enough to rest on our laurels; along with the accomplishments and celebrations, there is always an undercurrent of concern and frustration in the breast cancer field—unanswered questions, unmet opportunities….

This year will be a year for us as council members to focus on the big picture, to re-examine our priorities. Where do we want to be five years from now, ten years from now? What are the questions that need to be answered and how do we get those answers? We will be devoting substantial time and energy over the next few council meetings to gather information from a variety of sources, including researchers, patients, health-care providers, advocates, representatives from industry, health-care payers, government — anyone and everyone who has a stake in the issue of breast cancer and how to defeat it. At the end of the process, we will synthesize this information into a vision for the California Breast Cancer Research Program for the next several years. This will be translated into recommendations on research priorities and award types that should provide a framework and continuity for all of us involved in the CBCRP grant process.

It goes without saying that your input into this process is important, whatever community you hail from. We strongly urge you to call us at 888-313-BCRP (2277) or log onto the “CBCRP Listens” section of our Web site (http://www.cbcrp.org) and give us your two cents!

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