NIH establishes new breast cancer research committee

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The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), in collaboration with the National Cancer Institute (NCI), has established a new advisory committee to develop and coordinate a strategic federal research agenda on environmental and genetic factors related to breast cancer, the Interagency Breast Cancer and Environmental Research Coordinating Committee (IBCERCC). 

According to NIEHS, the 19-member committee comprised of representatives of federal agencies, non-federal scientists, physicians and other health professionals, as well as advocates for individuals with breast cancer will be tasked with reviewing all breast cancer research efforts conducted or supported by federal agencies in order to develop recommendations for the secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the National Institutes of Health and other federal agencies.

The committee will also create a plan to expand opportunities for collaborative, multi-disciplinary research and develop a summary of advances in federal breast cancer research, NIEHS stated. 

The first meeting of the IBCERCC will be held from Sept. 30 to Oct. 1 in the Washington, D.C. area and federal members include:
•    Christine Ambrosone, PhD - member, Board of Scientific Advisors, NCI, and professor of Oncology, Roswell Park Cancer Institute;
•    Sally Darney, PhD - acting national program director, Human Health Research Program, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency;
•    Suzanne Fenton, PhD - reproductive endocrinologist, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences;
•    Vivian Pinn, MD - director, Office of Research on Women's Health;
•    Marcus Plescia, MD - director, division of cancer prevention and control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention;
•    Gayle Vaday, PhD - program manager, breast cancer research program, congressionally directed medical research programs, U.S. Department of Defense; and
•    Shelia Hoar Zahm, ScD - deputy director, division of cancer epidemiology and genetics, NCI.

Non-federal representatives, including scientists, physicians and other health professionals include:
•    Michele Forman, PhD - professor of epidemiology, the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center;
•    Michael Gould, PhD - professor of oncology, University of Wisconsin, Madison;
•    Sandra Haslam, PhD - professor of physiology, Michigan State University;
•    Ronda Henry-Tillman, MD - director, cancer control, Arkansas Cancer Research Center at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences;
•    Kenneth Portier, PhD - statistician, American Cancer Society; and
•    Cheryl Walker, PhD - professor of carcinogenesis, the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

Non-federal representative advocates include:
•    Janice Barlow, PHN, CPNPC - executive director, Zero Breast Cancer;
•    Beverly Canin - president, Breast Cancer Options;
•    Alice Chang, PhD - president and co-founder, Academy for Cancer Wellness;
•    Karen Joy Miller - founder and president, Huntington Breast Cancer Action Coalition;
•    Laura Nikolaides, MS - director, research and quality care program, National Breast Cancer Coalition; and
•    Jeanne Rizzo, RN - president and CEO, Breast Cancer Fund.