Speaker Profile

M.D., M.B.A. Director, Carol Franc Buck Breast Care Center, Professor of Surgery and Radiology, University of California, San Francisco; Associate Director, UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center

Laura Esserman, MD, MBA, an internationally recognized breast surgeon, breast oncology specialist and visionary in personalized medicine, is revolutionizing breast cancer screening and treatment. Since 2002 she has led the I-SPY TRIALS, a groundbreaking national public-private collaboration among NCI, FDA, more than 20 cancer research centers and major pharma and biotech companies. By combining biomarker-based personalized medicine with adaptive trial design, the goal is to significantly reduce the cost and time to bring safe and effective new drugs to market. This has now become a national model for translational research. Dr. Esserman is now working to determine whether breast cancer screening that is personalized to each woman, based on her individual risk factors, is safer and more effective than standard annual mammograms. To answer this big question, she was awarded a $14.1 million grant by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), and will follow 100,000 women. Participants will be drawn from another of her major initiatives, the Athena Breast Health Network, a University of California-wide breast cancer research consortium. Dr. Esserman received her undergraduate degree at Harvard University, her medical and surgical training as well as a postdoctoral fellowship in breast oncology at Stanford University. After joining the Stanford faculty, she received Hartford fellowship to attend Stanford Business School where she received her M.B.A.