SCIENTIFIC ADVISORY BOARD
William Avery, Ph.D.
Vice President, Translational Development Momenta Pharmaceuticals
Dr. Avery is the Vice President of Translational Development at Momenta Pharmaceuticals in Cambridge, MA. He is a diplomat of the American Board of Toxicology and has most recently been working on developing biosimilars and novel autoimmune therapeutics. Dr. Avery’s work focuses on identifying potential hazards of therapeutics and translating novel molecules from research into clinical development. The goal of his work is two-fold. First is to try and provide access for more patients to expensive drugs through the development of biosimilars and second to develop novel molecules for rare autoimmune diseases.
Most recently Janet Colantuono was the co-founder and executive director of Hurricane Voices Breast Cancer Foundation. Since its inception in 2001, Janet defined the strategic direction and implemented the Foundation’s varied initiatives and projects. Janet brought a unique dedication to Hurricane Voices as seen in her powerful interpretation and implementation of the Foundation’s vision and strategy. Her long-term commitment to community service and philanthropic events currently includes participating on the grants review board for Find The Cause Breast Cancer Foundation, and as associate trustee of The Colantuono DeAngelis Scholarship Trust Fund.
Dr. Mehra Golshan
Breast Surgical Services
Dana Farber / Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center
Dr. Golshan serves as the Director of Breast Surgical Services at the Dana Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center and the Dr. Abdul Mohsen and Sultana Al-Tuwaijri Distinguished Chair in Surgical Oncology. Dr. Golshan helps to oversee the clinical and research efforts of eleven breast surgeons at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Dana Farber Cancer Institute. He is also in charge of the integration of multidisciplinary breast care throughout the system which includes: surgical oncology, medical oncology, radiation oncology, breast imaging, breast pathology, reconstruction surgery, physical therapy, social work and nursing. Together, the system offers one of the most comprehensive teams of breast specialists in the United States.
Elsie Levin, M.D.
Medical Director of Boston Breast Diagnostic Center
Dr. Levin came to Boston Breast Diagnostic center with over 19 years of experience as a Diagnostic Breast Radiologist. Her clinical interests include all aspects of breast imaging and intervention including digital mammography with the use of computer aided detection, breast ultrasound and dedicated breast MRI. Dr. Levin’s expertise is requested regularly to speak at national meetings dedicated to imaging excellence, including the American Society of Breast Surgeons, the Radiological Society of North America, and many more. In addition to her speaking engagements, she has published numerous articles on breast imaging, and enjoys teaching and training other physicians on the subject of breast imaging.
The Aurora Breast MRI service, led by Dr. Levin, is nationally recognized for its excellence in high-risk screening and evaluation of the newly diagnosed breast cancer patient. She has read more than 20,000 breast MRI studies, distinguishing her as one of the nation’s premiere experts on the topic.
Jose Russo, MD
Senior Member at Fox Chase Cancer Center
Adjunct Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.
Adjunct Professor of Pathology and Cell Biology at Thomas Jefferson College of Medicine<
As director of the Breast Cancer Laboratory, Dr. Russo devotes his full energies to basic and translational research. His interests have a broad base, but with a focused goal:
- to understand the mechanisms that control the susceptibility of the breast epithelium to undergo neoplastic transformation
- to identify markers of susceptibility
- to develop strategies for breast cancer prevention
Dr. Russo has authored more than 350 publications, including five books. He is Editor in Chief of The Journal of Women’s Cancer; Associate Editor, Biocell; Associate Editor, International Journal of Oncology and Associate Editor, Revista de Senologia y Patologia Mamaria; and served as member of the Editorial Board of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention (1995 to 1998).
In addition he has trained 50 Ph.D. and M.D. investigators in cancer research. For the last thirty years he has been an active member of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) peer review system and has served as a special reviewer for the American Cancer Society (ACS), the National Science Foundation, and the Department of Veteran Affairs.
Dr. Russo has received numerous awards for his original research in breast cancer from the American Cancer Society (ACS), National Cancer Institute (NCI) of the NIH, and the Department of Defense.
Susan Schiavi, PhD
Co-Founder of PreciThera, Inc.
Previously, Senior Scientific Director, Genzyme, a Sanofi Company
Susan is an internationally recognized science leader in bone and renal biology with 21 years’ experience in biotech discovery associated with rare and common diseases and the development of five marketed products.
She has specialized in-depth expertise in mineral regulation with broad experience in multiple therapeutic areas such as cardiovascular, endocrine and lipid storage diseases including proof-of-concept for multiple therapeutic approaches.
Susan has scientifically collaborated with multiple academic centers including Johns Hopkins, Mayo Clinic, and Harvard leading to therapeutically relevant clinical advancements and over 30 peer-reviewed publications and review articles.
She is an internal champion for strategic partnering/in-licensing with three external companies with track record for gaining internal approval through CEO.
Susan is a scientific representative for internal committees that prioritize external investigator sponsored studies and overall strategy for marketed renal products representing over 1 billion dollars in sales.
She has participated in clinical academic partnerships utilizing bioinformatics expression approaches for target discovery; Utilization of internal informatics capabilities as a tool to support strategic direction in bone and renal space.
David Sherr, PhD
Co-founder Professor, Environmental Health Boston University School of Public Health and Executive Director – Hurricane Voices Breast Cancer Foundation
Since 1993, David Sherr’s laboratory has conducted research on how common environmental pollutants, such as dioxins, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and PCBs, adversely affect the growth and behavior of several different types of normal and malignant cells. In previous work, the Sherr laboratory studied how environmental chemicals affect the development of the immune system. In specific, his laboratory demonstrated that aromatic hydrocarbons (generated by the combuston of any carbon source) compromise the function of bone marrow cells required for the development of antibody-forming cells. These cells are critical for immune protection against viruses and bacteria. This work had its origins in Dr. Sherr’s graduate studies on the ontogeny of lymphocyte development. More recently, Dr. Sherr’s laboratory has focused on the molecular mechanisms that initiate and maintain breast cancer and on the effects of environmental chemicals on these processes. The laboratory has shown that a cellular protein receptor, referred to as the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR), plays an important role in the initiation and progression of human breast cancer. The results explain, in part, the association between environmental chemical exposure and breast cancer risk. Perhaps most importantly, these studies demonstrate that the AhR drives human breast cancer cells to invade and, presumably, metastasize even in the absence of environmental chemicals. These observations have led to the development of AhR inhibitors which block AhR activity and prevent tumor cells from invading. One immediate goal of the laboratory, therefore, is the development of potent AhR inhibitors as novel, targeted therapeutics to be used for treatment of all breast cancers but especially for treatment of “triple negative” or chemotherapy-resistant breast cancers. Interestingly, preliminary studies suggest that these AhR inhibitors could be useful for treatment of several other cancer cell types. A new area of study in Dr. Sherr’s laboratory is the analysis of the role of the AhR in blood cell development. These studies are important from both an environmental science and medical science point of view. Studies performed to date suggest that the AhR plays an important role in the normal development of blood cells. The results suggest the intriguing possibility that common environmental pollutants can alter normal blood cell development by interfering with AhR signaling. Dr. Sherr came to BUSPH from the faculty of Harvard Medical School, where he had earlier been a postdoctoral fellow in the department of Nobel Laureate Baruj Benacerraf. The Sherr Laboratory is funded by research grants from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, the NIH Superfund Basic Research Program, and Find The Cause Breast Cancer Foundation. Dr. Sherr is the Director of the Boston University Immunology Training Program, and a member of the Amyloid Treatment Research Program, the BU Cancer Center, the Hematology/Oncology Training Program, and the BU Hormone-dependent Cancer Center. He has trained 21 postdoctoral (M.D. or Ph.D.) and 11 predoctoral (M.D. and/or Ph.D.) fellows.