Message from the Council Chair

When I accepted the honor of chairing the California BCRC in June of last year, I saw an opportunity to further define and work to achieve our mission to reduce the impact of breast cancer in California. CBCRP's primary role as a funding organization gives us the opportunity to guide research into areas that we identify as under resourced as well as in areas focusing on populations and issues unique to California. Our flexibility, research priorities, and innovative funding mechanisms are helping us as we strive to have a positive impact on halting the breast cancer epidemic.

A major goal that I have set for the council and myself is to focus on dissemination of research findings relevant to breast cancer patients, survivors, practitioners, and all women of California. The regular publication of this newsletter and distribution of informative articles to other newsletters relevant to breast cancer are two ways we are getting the most up-to-date information out to our stakeholders. In addition, our biannual symposium is purposefully designed for research information to flow from CBCRP funded researchers to our other stakeholders, which includes breast cancer survivors and advocates. We strive to make this a two-way learning process so that our researchers gain insight from survivors and advocates to guide their research into new areas of investigation. For the first time this year, we have also included a session titled “CBCRP Listens.” It is our intention that this session will introduce a third layer of information flow, from you—survivors, advocates, researchers, practitioners, and interested public—to the CBCRP. We will use the knowledge we gain from you to guide definition of future funding priorities into new, promising areas of research, as well as use it as a barometer of our past per-formance. We work for all of you—and we are committed to be responsive to your needs and ideas.

Another major area of focus for the BCRC is to find new ways to promote translation of research findings of potential benefit to breast cancer patients into practice—our Symposium title “From Research to Action” aptly describes this goal. The council's diverse composition is allowing us to investigate this challenging area from many sides of the issue. We are currently asking questions such as: What are the barriers to translation? Should industrial partners be tapped to participate? If so, how? How can the CBCRP facilitate moving beyond these barriers and aid in the rapid translation of relevant research findings into practice?

In closing, I want to invite you to join us as we work actively to reduce the impact of breast cancer in California. Visit our web site for more information about the CBCRP, CBCRP funded research, and links to other sites with relevant information. Give us your feedback and ideas, be a conduit for dissemination of information about breast cancer and the CBCRP to your family, friends, local community, and research colleagues. It is my hope that through the synergy of our individual efforts, we will have the greatest impact on our goal to better diagnose, treat, cure, and eventually prevent breast cancer.

—Teresa L. Burgess, Ph.D.