New breast cancer committee to establish federal research agenda

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  • Posted: August 16, 2010
NCI Press Office


A newly formed advisory committee will develop and coordinate a strategic federal research agenda on environmental and genetic factors related to breast cancer. The 19-member Interagency Breast Cancer and Environmental Research Coordinating Committee (IBCERCC) was established by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), in collaboration with the National Cancer Institute (NCI), to review all breast cancer research efforts conducted or supported by federal agencies. 

The committee will develop recommendations for the secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the National Institutes of Health, and other federal agencies, to improve existing research programs related to breast cancer research. Additionally, the IBCERCC will create a comprehensive plan to expand opportunities for collaborative, multi-disciplinary research, and develop a summary of advances in federal breast cancer research. 

"The broad range of expertise and insight of these individuals will ensure the federal research portfolio continues to advance our understanding of the critical links between our environment, our genes, and our health," said Linda Birnbaum, Ph.D., director of NIEHS and the National Toxicology Program (NTP).

“The committee’s focus on breast cancer and the environment research across federal agencies will be valuable in identifying scientific opportunities to better understand the impact of the environment on this disease,” said Robert Croyle, Ph.D., director of the Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences at NCI.

The IBCERCC is comprised of 19 voting members, including representatives of federal agencies; non-federal scientists, physicians, and other health professionals from clinical, basic, and public health sciences; and advocates for individuals with breast cancer.

The first meeting of the IBCERCC will take place Sept. 30 – Oct. 1, 2010 in the Washington, D.C., area. 

 Federal Representatives

Christine Ambrosone, Ph.D.

Member, Board of Scientific Advisors, National Cancer Institute, and Professor of Oncology, Roswell Park Cancer Institute

Sally Darney, Ph.D.

Acting National Program Director,
Human Health Research Program
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Suzanne Fenton, Ph.D.

Reproductive Endocrinologist
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences

Vivian Pinn, M.D.

Director, Office of Research on Women's Health
National Institutes of Health

Marcus Plescia, M.D., M.P.H.

Director, Division of Cancer Prevention and Control
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Gayle Vaday, Ph.D.

Program Manager, Breast Cancer Research Program, Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs,
U.S. Department of Defense

Shelia Hoar Zahm, Sc.D.

Deputy Director, Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics
National Cancer Institute

 Non-Federal Representatives (Scientists, Physicians, and other Health Professionals)

Michele Forman, Ph.D.

Professor of Epidemiology
The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center

Michael Gould, Ph.D.

Professor of Oncology
University of Wisconsin–Madison

Sandra Haslam, Ph.D.

Professor of Physiology
State University

Ronda Henry-Tillman, M.D.

Medical Director, Women’s Oncology Clinic and Director,
Cancer Control Arkansas Cancer Research Center,
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences

Kenneth Portier, Ph.D.

American Cancer Society

Cheryl Walker, Ph.D.

Professor of Carcinogenesis
The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center

 Non-Federal Representatives (Advocates)

Janice Barlow, P.H.N., C.P.N.P.C.

Executive Director
Zero Breast Cancer

Beverly Canin

Breast Cancer Options

Alice Chang, Ph.D.

President and Co-Founder
Academy for Cancer Wellness

Karen Joy Miller

Founder and President
Breast Cancer Action Coalition

Laura Nikolaides, M.S.

Director, Research & Quality Care Program
National Breast Cancer Coalition

Jeanne Rizzo, R.N.

President and CEO
Breast Cancer Fund

The business of the committee will be facilitated by federal officials including Linda Birnbaum, Ph.D., director of NIEHS and the NTP; Harold Varmus, M.D., director of NCI; Gwen Collman, Ph.D., interim director of the NIEHS Division of Extramural Research and Training; Deborah Winn, Ph.D., deputy director of the NCI Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences; Dale Sandler, Ph.D., chief of the NIEHS Epidemiology Branch; and Neeraja Sathyamoorthy, Ph.D., program director of the NCI Division of Cancer Biology’s Tumor Biology and Metastasis Branch.