Members of the Advisory Committee on Breast Cancer in Young Women

CHAIR: Karen Meneses, PhD, RN, FAAN

Dr. Meneses is Professor and Associate Dean for Research in the School of Nursing at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), and Co-Leader of the Cancer Control and Population Sciences Program at UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center. Her research focus is cancer survivorship and interventions to improve quality of life in cancer survivors and their families including young women with breast cancer. She is the Program Director of the Young Breast Cancer Survivors Network that provides evidence-based education, support, and networking for young breast cancer survivors and their families. She is also Director of SurviveAL of the Gulf States Young Breast Cancer Survivors Network, a targeted online resource for young women and their families and friends.

Lindsay Avner

Ms. Avner is the Founder and Chairman of the Board of Bright Pink. Ms. Avner made history in 2006, becoming the youngest woman in the country to have risk-reducing double mastectomy after being diagnosed with a BRCA1 gene mutation. Based on her own experience, she founded Bright Pink, the only national non-profit organization focused on prevention and early detection of breast and ovarian cancer in young women. Inspired to educate women on risk assessment and risk management, she has assembled a portfolio of innovative, life-saving education and support programs reaching millions of women and health providers nationwide each year.

Ellyn Davidson

Ms. Davidson, a Managing Partner at Brogan & Partners, has more than 22 years of experience at managing advertising and marketing programs for health care, government, nonprofit, economic development and other governmental agencies. She is also a long-term survivor of young-onset hereditary breast cancer caused by a BRCA2 mutation. Ms. Davidson has focused her endeavors on educating young women and helping them navigate the complexities of a breast cancer diagnosis or inherited risk. She is a passionate advocate for young breast cancer survivors and young, high-risk women. Ms. Davidson uses her experience and well-honed skills in marketing and advertising to improve public health.

Shubhada Dhage, MD, FACS

Dr. Dhage is the Associate Director of Diversity in Cancer Research and Center for the Environmental of Cancer Disparities at the New York University Perlmutter Cancer Center. Dr. Dhage is a breast surgeon and scientist dedicated to treating New York’s underserved, ethnically diverse women, as the co-founder of the cancer disparities program at NYU Perlmutter Cancer Center and the Co-Director of the Bellevue Hospital Breast Clinic, NYU Medical Center. As a surgeon conducting genomic research, her focus has remained treating the patient as a whole person and she aims to have an impact on the elimination of disparities and the prevention of breast cancer. Dr. Dhage has created programs for molecular research, patient prevention, decision making, health literacy, survivorship, physician training, and wellness.

Don S. Dizon, MD

Dr. Dizon is Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Founder and Director of the Oncology Sexual Health Clinic at the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, where he also serves as the Clinical Co-Director for Gynecologic Oncology. Dr. Dizon is a medical oncologist who specializes in women’s cancers, survivorship, and sexual health, He trained in oncology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and helped establish Rhode Island’s first sexual health program for female cancer survivors, The Center for Sexuality, Intimacy, and Fertility.

Tari A. King, MD, FACS

Dr. King is the Chief of Breast Surgery at the Dana Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center and the Associate Division Chief for Breast Surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Prior to that she was the Deputy Chief and Director of Research for the Breast Service at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. She maintains an active clinical practice devoted to the diagnosis and surgical treatment of breast cancer, and her research focuses on the molecular genetics of high-risk lesions.

Rachel M. Mayo, PhD, MA

Dr. Mayo is a Professor in the Department of Public Health Sciences at Clemson University. She has worked in cancer control for the past 20 years in South Carolina. Her research interests include cancer prevention and control and health disparities among minority and underserved populations. Her current work is on disparities among the uninsured and cultural competence in provider education. She is a two-year breast cancer survivor, who now has a greater appreciation of issues facing young women with breast cancer.

Jacquelyn J. Roth, Ph.D, DABMGG

Dr. Roth is a Clinical Laboratory Cytogeneticist and Molecular Geneticist who serves as the Molecular Development Assistant Director in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at The Hospital of the University of Philadelphia. Dr. Roth’s graduate research focused on identifying new genes involved in the pathogenesis of breast cancer. She is a breast cancer survivor, having been diagnosed at the age of 28, and is committed to using her experience to improve the lives of and increase awareness of young women diagnosed with breast cancer.

Tara Sanft, MD

Dr. Sanft is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Yale University School of Medicine. She is board certified in medical oncology and hospice and palliative medicine. Dr. Sanft currently provides oversight for three survivorship clinics: a multidisciplinary clinic, a survivorship care plan clinic, and a long-term survivorship clinic. Her research focus is on care plan delivery, distress in survivors, and healthy lifestyle behaviors in breast cancer survivors, including diet and exercise interventions to improve cancer-related biomarkers and quality of life. Dr. Sanft is a member of the Board of Directors for the Connecticut Cancer Partnership, a CDC-supported organization focusing on statewide cancer prevention and control.

Nicole B. Saphier, MD

Dr. Saphier is a Diplomat of the American Board of Radiology. She is a fellowship-trained radiologist, expertly skilled in women’s oncologic imaging with a primary focus in breast imaging radiology. In addition to her clinical knowledge, Dr. Saphier is vetted in the realm of health care policy. In her prior position she was the sole physician champion of the Arizona state breast density legislation. Dr. Saphier is currently on the Department of Health Breast Imaging Work Group as well as on the executive and legislative committees of the Radiological Society of New Jersey and the Morris Township Board of Health. She is an accomplished radiologist who is extremely knowledgeable in other areas of breast oncology.

Elana Silber, MBA

Ms. Silber is the Executive Director of Sharsheret. She has overall strategic and operational responsibility for the organization’s breast cancer support and education programs. With 13 years of experience, her close partnership with clinical staff, and her deep understanding of Sharsheret’s growing community, Ms. Silber has the requisite experience in both medical and psychosocial issues pertinent to breast cancer survivorship in young women. She conducts cultural competency trainings for health care professionals and major medical centers focusing on the unique issues of young Jewish women facing breast cancer, including challenges related to their increased risk for hereditary breast cancer.

Joyce Tannenbaum Turner, MS, CGC

Ms. Turner is a board-certified genetic counselor with over 17 years’ experience. She is also a faculty member within the Division of Genetics and Metabolism at Children’s National Medical Center (CNMC). After being diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 35, Ms. Turner transitioned her career from research on rare diseases and high-risk prenatal care to hereditary cancer and launched CNMC’s cancer genetics clinic. Through the clinic, she provides genetic counseling, testing, and screening to families suspected of or known to have a cancer predisposition syndrome including hereditary forms of breast cancer.

Debbie J. Tuttle, DNP, FNP-BC, AOCNS, CBCN

Dr. Tuttle is a Breast Oncology Nurse Practitioner at Stanford Women’s Cancer Center. She has worked in oncology for more than 25 years and strives to implement improved quality of life interventions for breast cancer survivors from the time of diagnosis through to end-of-life care. She has the distinct advantage of working with women across the cancer spectrum, providing care to those who seek risk assessment screening and prevention and to women being treated for breast cancer, including some who are being managed chronically for metastatic disease.

Desiree A.H. Walker

Ms. Walker was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 38, which recurred at age 47. She serves as an advocate for patients by openly speaking about her diagnosis to audiences nationally. She encourages patients to truly know their body and feel empowered to steward self, mind, body and soul. Through SHARE’s Side by Side Program, Ms. Walker trains medical students and doctors on how to deliver disappointing news and vehemently supports the importance of patient/doctor communication. She is a member of the National Breast Cancer Coalition and a graduate of Project LEAD. She is also a consumer reviewer for the Department of Defense’s Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program and a patient reviewer for Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute. Ms. Walker is committed to ensuring that the needs of young women with breast cancer are heard and addressed.

Marisa Weiss, MD

Dr. Weiss is the Founder and President of, an online resource for medical and personal expert information on breast health and breast cancer, reaching 27 million people globally over the past 10 years. She is a breast cancer oncologist with more than 20 years of experience and currently practices at Lankenau Medical Center, where she serves as Director of Breast Radiation Oncology and Director of Breast Health Outreach. Dr. Weiss is a renowned leader in the field of breast cancer and is regarded as a visionary advocate for her innovative and steadfast approach to informing and empowering individuals to protect their breast health and overcome the challenges of breast cancer.

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