Science Advisory Panel
In developing our educational outreach and policy advocacy, the Breast Cancer Fund is committed to grounding its work in the latest scientific information on the complex relationships between environmental factors and breast cancer. We therefore go to our Scientific Advisory Panel for advice when we are working to explore new scientific data or plan new initiatives based on the latest scientific evidence.
The scientists listed here were invited to join the Panel in recognition of their important work in the field of environmental health related especially to environmental risks for breast cancer, and of their commitment to the mission of the Breast Cancer Fund.
Janet Gray, Ph.D., Science Advisory Panel co-chair
Professor and Director of Science, Technology and Society, Vassar College
Vassar professor and director of the college's Science, Technology, and Society Program, Janet Gray has a background in behavioral neuroscience, and her laboratory research has focused on the effects of estrogens and mixed antiestrogens, especially tamoxifen, on brain activity and behavior. In recent years, her research and writing focus has turned toward engaging the public in the complex issues surrounding breast cancer and environmental risks. Gray is the editor of the fifth (2008) and sixth (2010) editions of the Breast Cancer Fund's groundbreaking report, State of the Evidence: The Connection Between Breast Cancer and the Environment. She led a multidisciplinary group of students and professionals in the development of a widely distributed interactive tool that explores the scientific literature on breast cancer and environmental risks. Gray was honored with a Science Hero Award by the Breast Cancer Fund in 2007. She also serves on the Breast Cancer Fund's Board of Directors.
Susan Kutner, M.D., Science Advisory Panel co-chair
Breast surgeon, Kaiser Permanente
Chair, Kaiser Permanente Northern California’s Breast Care Task Force
Susan Kutner is a general surgeon with a subspecialty practice in breast surgery at Santa Teresa Kaiser Hospital in San Jose, California. From 1996 to 2001, she was Chief of the Department of Surgery at Santa Teresa. Since 1995, Kutner has served as Chair of the Kaiser Permanente Northern California Breast Care Task Force. She is also a member of the Interregional Breast Care Leaders Group of the Permanente Federation. Susan has been a member of the California Department of Health Master Plan Task Force on Breast and Cervical Cancer, the American Cancer Society Subgroup Evaluating Clinical Breast Exam, the National Quality Forum Committee on Consumer Based Measurements of Mammography Centers, and the Quality Care Advisory Board of the National Breast Cancer Coalition. She has participated as a climber and team doctor for the Breast Cancer Fund’s Climb Against the Odds events on Mt. Fuji in 2000, Mt. Rainier in 2005 and Mt. Shasta in 2003, 2006 and 2007 and participated in Sacred Treks: Bhutan in 2008, a benefit event for the Breast Cancer Fund. Kutner was honored with an Andrea Ravinett Martin Strong Voices Hero Award by the Breast Cancer Fund in 2007. She also serves on the Breast Cancer Fund's Board of Directors.
Kristan Aronson, Ph.D.
Professor, Queen's University
Kristan Aronson works with trans-disciplinary research teams to examine the relative contribution of environmental and genetic factors as causes of breast cancer. Current projects focus on air pollution, occupational exposures such as shift work, biomarkers such as melatonin, vitamin D, and sex hormones, and other factors such as physical activity, and genetic variants. Previous research contributions have impacted workers’ compensation, nutritional supplementation policy, and toxin reduction legislation. Aronson is a Professor at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, in Community Health and Epidemiology, and in the School of Environmental Studies, and she is a member of the Division of Cancer Care and Epidemiology at the Cancer Research Institute. Kristan has held several career and research awards, she is the recipient of the Golden Jubilee Medallion of Queen Elizabeth II in recognition of her volunteer service, and she has been awarded three visiting professorships in Canada and Australia.
Lisa Bailey, M.D.
Breast surgeon and co-director of the Breast Cancer Program at the Alta Bates Summit Medical Center
Julia Brody, Ph.D.
Executive director, Silent Spring Institute
Julia Brody is the executive director of Silent Spring Institute, the only scientific research organization dedicated to advancing breast cancer prevention. Founded in 1994 by women’s health activists, Silent Spring Institute leads groundbreaking studies to identify the links between environmental chemicals and breast cancer, opening new doors to understanding the health risks associated with toxics where we live and work. Having published more than 50 peer-reviewed scientific articles, Brody and the Institute are generating a body of evidence that supports a policy agenda for breast cancer prevention. Among Brody’s most prominent publications is a major scientific review she led on breast cancer and environmental pollutants, published in Cancer. As part of Silent Spring's innovative exposure research, Brody pioneered the development of ethical and effective methods for reporting personal exposures to study participants when the health implications are uncertain. Her research has been supported by the National Science Foundation and National Institutes of Health and recognized with a US EPA Environmental Merit Award. Brody is an adjunct assistant professor at Brown University School of Medicine. She was honored with a Science Hero Award by the Breast Cancer Fund in 2003.
Research director, Silent Spring Institute
Ruthann Rudel is the research director at Silent Spring Institute, where she leads major exposure and toxicology research programs focusing on hormonally active chemicals and biological mechanisms by which chemicals may influence breast cancer. Her innovations in “breast cancer toxicology” include major peer-reviewed articles that identify chemicals that cause breast tumors or alter breast development in animal models, and she is developing a database of methods for measuring these chemicals in women. Rudel leads a program to develop breast cancer-relevant chemical safety tests for green chemistry. She also directs the Institute’s Household Exposure Study, which has been described as the “most comprehensive analysis to date” of exposures in homes and is widely cited. She has served on the U.S. National Toxicology Program Board of Scientific Counselors and is an adjunct Research Associate in the Brown University School of Medicine.
Richard Clapp, M.P.H., D.Sc.
Professor Emeritus of Environmental Health, B.U. School of Public Health
Adjunct Professor at the University of Massachusetts—Lowell
Richard Clapp is Professor Emeritus of Environmental Health, B.U. School of Public Health and Adjunct Professor at the University of Massachusetts—Lowell. He is an epidemiologist with over 40 years of experience in public health practice, teaching and consulting. He has a Master of Public Health degree from Harvard School of Public Health and a Doctor of Science degree in Epidemiology from Boston University School of Public Health. He served as director of the Massachusetts Cancer Registry from 1980 to1989. He was co-chair of the steering committee for Greater Boston Physicians for Social Responsibility from 1999 to 2008. Clapp was an associate editor of Environmental Health Perspectives from 2006 to 2010 and on the editorial board of New Solutions from 1994 to 2010. A selection of articles he edited, called “From Critical Science to Solutions,” was published in 2011. His research has included studies of cancer around nuclear facilities, cancer and other diseases in military veterans, occupational causes of cancer including breast cancer, among other topics.
Joseph H. Guth, J.D., Ph.D.
Joe Guth is a member of the New York State Bar, has a law degree from New York University, a Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Madison, Wisconsin, and an undergraduate degree in biochemistry from the University of California, Berkeley. Guth serves as a member of Cal/EPA's Green Ribbon Science Panel, which advises Cal/EPA on the Green Chemistry Initiative, and as a member of Cal/EPA’s Cumulative Impacts and Precautionary Approaches Workgroup.
The central goals of Guth’s work are (1) the design of legal structures that will promote preservation of the earth rather than accept environmental destruction as a byproduct of economic growth (2) comprehensive reform of chemicals policy in California and in the United States and (3) the development of interdisciplinary curricula in green chemistry at U.C. Berkeley.
Tyrone Hayes, Ph.D.
Professor of integrative biology, University of California, Berkeley
Sarah Janssen, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H.
Senior scientist, Natural Resources Defense Council Website
Assistant clinical professor, University of California, San Francisco
Sarah Janssen is a senior scientist in the health and environment program at NRDC in San Francisco. In her capacity as a scientist with NRDC, Janssen provides scientific expertise for policy and regulatory decisions on a number of toxic chemicals, including hormone-disrupting substances which interfere with fertility and reproduction. Her work has included research on flame retardants, cosmetics, plastics and plasticizers, breast cancer and threats to adult reproductive health and child development.
Janssen is board-certified in preventive medicine, with a subspecialty in occupational and environmental medicine. She is an assistant clinical professor at the University of California, San Francisco and is a pool physician for Kaiser Permanente of Northern California. She completed her M.D. and Ph.D. in molecular and integrative physiology at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign in 2001, and her Master of Public Health at the University of California, Berkeley in 2005. Janssen is the author of numerous peer-reviewed publications and book chapters. She was honored with a Science Hero Award by the Breast Cancer Fund in 2010.
Mhel Kavanaugh-Lynch, M.D., M.P.H.
Director, California Breast Cancer Research Program
Mhel Kavanaugh-Lynch is the director of the California Breast Cancer Research Program in the Office of the President at the University of California. In that role, she guides California’s research strategies and prioritizes efforts designed to bring an end to breast cancer. This has included building programs in community-based participatory research, as well as Program-directed strategies on environmental links to, and disparities in, breast cancer. She is the PI of a National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)-funded grant to build infrastructure in community-based participatory research in breast cancer disparities and environment. Kavanaugh-Lynch is a graduate of Bryn Mawr College, New York University School of Medicine and University of Washington School of Public Health. She has served on numerous National Institutes of Health (NIH) peer-review committees, as well as boards and advisory panels for NIH, the California Department of Public Health and Environmental Protection Agency, Gay and Lesbian Medical Association, the Breast Cancer Fund and the American Cancer Society. She is the recipient of awards from the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association, Lesbian Health Fund, Zero Breast Cancer, Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation and National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship.
Lawrence Kushi, Sc.D.
Associate director for Etiology and Prevention Research, Kaiser Permanente Northern California Division of Research
Rachel Morello-Frosch, Ph.D., M.P.H.
Associate Professor, University of California, Berkeley School of Public Health
Ted Schettler, M.D., M.P.H.
Science director, Science and Environmental Health Network
Ted Schettler is science director of the Science and Environmental Health Network and the Collaborative on Health and Environment. An accomplished writer, Schettler is a principal author of the report, Environmental Threats to Healthy Aging, the most comprehensive review of research linking lifetime exposure and influences, beginning in the womb, to Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and other chronic illnesses. Schettler's groundbreaking research has revolutionized the way we think about the connection between early-life exposures and later-life disease and has influenced the course we will take toward creating a healthy future. Schettler was honored with a Science Hero Award by the Breast Cancer Fund in 2009.
Tracey J. Woodruff, Ph.D., M.P.H.
Director, Program on Reproductive Health and the Environment, University of California, San Francisco Website
Professor, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences and Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies, UCSF
Tracey Woodruff is a professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences and Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies at the University of California, San Francisco and the director of the Program on Reproductive Health and the Environment. She has done extensive research and policy development on environmental health issues, with a particular emphasis on early-life development. Her research areas include evaluating prenatal exposures to environmental chemicals and related adverse pregnancy outcomes, and characterizing developmental risks. She has authored numerous scientific publications and book chapters. She was previously at the U.S. EPA, where she was a senior scientist and policy advisor in the Office of Policy, and author of numerous government documents. She is an associate editor of Environmental Health Perspectives.
Woodruff received her Ph.D. in bioengineering from the University of California, Berkeley and San Francisco, and her M.P.H. in environmental health from the University of California, Berkeley. She completed a Pew Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of California, San Francisco, Institute for Health Policy Studies.
Ami Zota, Sc.D.
Postdoctoral fellow, University of California, San Francisco