Meet the Breast Cancer Research Council

Katherine McKenzie, Ph.D.

In order for the CBCRP to carry out its mission of funding innovative research, we must track the trends and opportunities for progress that arise in the breast cancer research community. To do this, the CBCRP relies on an advisory body called the California Breast Cancer Research Council (BCRC). The BCRC makes funding recommendations and plots out future directions for the CBCRP. The council has been working hard to make the California Breast Cancer Research Program the standard bearer for breast cancer funding agencies.

But who are the people who make up this council? The BCRC is made up of 16 individuals chosen to represent the people who are affected by breast cancer and the institutions that can contribute to the solution. The chair of the council for 2001-2002 is Teresa Burgess, Ph.D., an industry representative from Amgen Corporation. Teresa has a background in basic and applied cell biology and drug development.

Sandra Walsh is our vice-chair. She is an advocate representative on the council and co-founder of YMe Davis, president of California Breast Cancer Organizations (CABCO), and an active member of the National Breast Cancer Coalition (NBCC).

The advocate representatives on the council have been committed to improving breast cancer policy and treatment through activism, public outreach, and enhanced delivery of care. They represent women from throughout California.

Diana Chingos is a breast cancer survivor who heads a patient advisory council at the USC/Norris Cancer Center in Los Angeles, one of the few of its kind in the country. She is active with the NBCC and works for MAMM, a national consumer magazine for women affected by breast and reproductive cancers.

Akua Jitahadi represents Black Women for Wellness, an organization that she founded. Akua is concerned about health issues affecting Black women and coordinates “Keep in Touch… Do BSE's” for Black Women and Wellness.

Lauren John is representing Breast Cancer Action. She is a breast cancer survivor, a journalist, a DOD grant reviewer, and a member of advocacy groups throughout the U.S.

Florita Maiki is representing Breast Health Access for Women with Disabilities. Florita is dedicated to providing breast care and detection access for women with disabilities.

Industry representation gives the CBCRP insight into how we can best work with commercial partners to move the breast cancer research field forward. The council's other industry representative, I. Craig Henderson, M.D., of ALZA Corp. is also president of Access Oncology, Inc. as well as a clinician and professor of medicine at UCSF.

The scientists/clinicians on the council are experts in basic science, imaging technology, epidemiology, behavioral science, and economic modeling research. Hoda Anton-Culver, Ph.D., of the University of California, Irvine studies trends in breast cancer incidence and treatment. A. Elaine Ashby, M.D., of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is an expert in ultrasound and biomechanics. Susan J. Blalock, Ph.D., M.P.H., of University of the Pacific researches behavior, economics, and health care delivery. Tammy Tengs, Sc.D., of University of California, Irvine investigates decision science, long-term public health, and economic consequences. Anna M. Wu, Ph.D., of the Beckman Research Institute develops recombinant antibodies for imaging and therapy of cancer.

Robert Carlson, M.D., of Stanford University is the medical specialist representative on the council. He is an expert in clinical care, clinical trials, and the development of computer-based models to assist physicians in health care delivery.

Our non-profit health organization representatives are Irene Linayao-Putman of the Union of Pan Asian Communities and M. Ellen Mahoney, M.D., F.A.C.S., of the California Medical Association. Irene works to reduce cultural and linguistic barriers to health care access and to increase educational awareness among communities such as Hmong. Ellen is a clinician and a co-founder of Community Breast Health Project in Palo Alto and serves as a resource for other breast cancer organizations, such as the Breast Cancer Fund, Breast Cancer Action, the Susan Love web site, and community breast health projects.

Georjean Stoodt, M.D., M.P.H., is the exofficio representative from the Department of Health Services and heads Breast Cancer Early Detection Program-a sister program to CBCRP.

All of our council members bring their unique and varied experiences to bear on removing the obstacles to preventing and curing breast cancer. They provide the CBCRP with wellinformed opinions from different arenas of the breast cancer community.

There is much more to learn about our council members. Visit the CBCRP web site for the full biographies of our council members.

If you are interested in serving on the council or wish to nominate someone else to serve, call, phone or email us.