Breast Cancer Center of Excellence
Lombardi's Breast Cancer Center of Excellence (COE) is funded by the Department of Defense, and aims to clarify the relationship between alcohol drinking and breast cancer through a variety of transdisciplinary research studies. The Principal Investigator for the study is Peter G. Shields, MD.
The COE includes epidemiologists, basic scientists, imaging experts, and biomarker experts from Georgetown University, University of Buffalo, National Institutes of Health, and Catholic Universty. The COE also has an Advisory Board consisting of three consumer advocates, who are established experts representing each of the disciplines.
Simultaneously conducted studies designed to be complimentary by our multidisciplinary team is the fastest way to lead to definitive conclusions about alcohol drinking and breast cancer.
For a complete listing of COE members, click here.
The Center's multidisciplinary team members include:
Dr. Peter G. Shields, Principal Investigator at Georgetown University Medical Center (GUMC): Dr. Shields is a Professor of Oncology and Medicine and Associate Director for Population Sciences. He is an internationally recognized leader in molecular epidemiology. Dr. Shields serves on editorial boards of major journals, was the first elected leader of the 560-member Molecular Epidemiology Group of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), and has been a standing member of the Epidemiology and Disease Control 2 study section. Dr. Shields’ laboratory has been at the forefront of conducting PCR-based genotyping assays, many related specifically to breast cancer. Dr. Shields directs the Center of Excellence and provides laboratory supervision for genotyping, methylation, and p53 analyses.
Dr. Matthew Freedman, Co-Principal Investigator at GUMC: Dr. Freedman is Associate Professor of Radiology, Director of Breast Imaging Research, and Clinical Director of the Division of Imaging Science and Information Systems (ISIS). The ISIS Center includes substantial expertise for Picture Archiving and Communications Systems (PACS), digital radiography, digital mammography, computer aided detection of lung and breast cancer, and telemedicine. Dr. Freedman initiated the animal cancer imaging service at Lombardi 20 months ago. Dr. Freedman assists in directing the Center of Excellence and conducts the breast imaging studies.
Dr. Robert Dickson, Investigator at GUMC: Dr. Dickson is a Professor in the Department of Oncology. He is the Associate Director for Basic Sciences and is the Program Leader for our Breast Cancer Program. Dr. Dickson has a particular expertise on the growth regulation of breast cells related to estrogens, and which genes are involved in the cell cycle that affect genomic instability and cell cycle control. Dr. Dickson assists in integrating basic science data across projects, and links the Center of Excellence to other GUMC programs.
Dr. Leena Hilakivi-Clarke, Investigator at GUMC: Dr. Hilakivi-Clarke is an Associate Professor in the Department of Oncology at GUMC. She has particular expertise in risk factors that affect circulating estrogen levels and how these affect cancer risk in both humans and animals. Specifically, she is studying the effects of diet on estrogen levels. In the Center, she is conducting animal studies and interpreting them along with human data.
Dr. Priscilla Furth, Investigator at GUMC: Dr. Furth is a Professor in the Department of Oncology at GUMC. She is an expert in the generation and use of transgenic and knockout mouse models. Dr. Furth has developed genetic systems to explore the role of hormonal signaling during the development of mammary cancer with a particular focus on the pathways that regulate programmed cell death of mammary epithelial cells. Dr. Furth is designing and conducting animal studies.
Dr. Christopher Loffredo, Investigator at GUMC: Dr. Loffredo is an Assistant Professor of Oncology. He has performed studies to examine potential gene-environment interactions in human cancers and birth defects. Dr. Loffredo currently has R01 funding to study gene-environment interactions for liver cancer risk using a case-control study in Egypt. At Lombardi, Dr. Loffredo’s major responsibilities are for the epidemiologic field activities of the Biomarker Core resource, which has been conducting the Reduction Mammoplasty Study and the pilot mammography accrual study.
Dr. Jo Freudenheim, Principal Investigator at Buffalo: Dr. Freudenheim is a Professor in the Department of Social and Preventive Medicine. She is an internationally recognized leader in the field of nutritional cancer epidemiology and has conducted several case-control studies with a particular focus on breast cancer. She recently completed a 5-year term serving on the the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Epidemiology and Disease Control Study Section (EDC-2) and she is a member of the editorial board for Cancer Causes and Control. Dr. Freudenheim is responsible for all the data analyses related to that case control study. Dr. Freudenheim also is involved in design and analysis of all of the epidemiologic studies included in the Center of Excellence.
Dr. Byoung J. Song, Principal Investigator at NIH: Dr. Song is a Senior Investigator at the National Institute for Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) and serves as the Chief of the Unit of Molecular Biology. His research has been on the molecular regulation and functional aspects of ethanol-inducible CYP2E1. Recently, Dr. Song has been investigating the oxidative stress caused by alcohol. Dr. Song had cloned the CYP2E1 gene and has an extensive knowledge in CYP2E1 regulation. He has served as a reviewer for more than 17 peer-reviewed journals. Dr. Song is conducting studies of ethanol metabolism and oxidative stress.
Dr. Yue Joseph Wang, Principal Investigator at Catholic University of America: Dr. Wang is an Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. His research group is considered to be a world leader in the areas of bioinformatics and the use of the Internet2. Dr. Wang has extensive experience in image processing, image segmentation, and change detection. In addition, he works with Drs. Robert Clarke and Matthew Freedman at Lombardi on the “Intelligent Mapping and Visual Exploration of Gene Expression Profiles” (NIH-5R21CA83231) developing multi-spatial, multi-dimensional clustering algorithms of alterations in gene expression patterns of women with locally advanced breast cancer receiving chemotherapy. He is providing the bioinformatic support for the microarrays and breast imaging studies in the Center of Excellence.
The COE Consumer Advocates aid in the review of protocols, review documents, informed consent forms, brochures, and website content. They address media activities as the opportunities develop, and enhance our ability to obtain accurate information in a way that is non-judgemental. Our three Consumer Advocates are listed below.
Carolyn Aldige, President and Founder of Cancer Research and Prevention Foundation (CRPF). Ms. Aldige established the Foundation in 1985, following the death of her father to cancer 1 year earlier. Since that time, the Foundations' mission has been unwavering: cancer prevention and early detection through research, education and community outreach. In its 19-year history, CRPF has provided more than $66 million in support of programs that extend this mission. Ms. Aldige is currently serving a third term as president of the National Coalition for Cancer Research and serves on boards and advisory panels at seven NCI-designated comprehensive cancer centers. She serves on the Cancer Prevention Task Force of AACR and the Cancer Prevention Committee of ASCO. Among other awards and honors, in 2004 she received the AACR Public Service Award and was a Washingtonian of the Year in 1996.
Margaret Borwhat, PhD, President and Co-founder of Women's Cancer Advocacy Network Advisory Committee. The Women's Cancer Advocacy Network is devoted to reaching and working on behalf of women and their social supports and educating patients, policymakers, and practitioners.
Rebecca Morris, Secretary of the Women's Cancer Advocacy Network Advisory Committee. Ms. Morris is a breast cancer survivor and patient advocate. She is a graduate of the acclaimed National Breast Cancer Coalition course, Project L.E.A.D. (Leadership, Education, Advocacy, & Development) and Clinical Trials L.E.A.D. Ms. Morris is also Secretary of the Women's Cancer Advocacy Network.
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