Full Member, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Biochemistry Affiliate Professor, University of Washington School of Medicine

Dr. Robert Eisenman’s research is concerned with the basic molecular mechanisms that drive neoplasia and his laboratory has focused on a gene network that broadly controls the response of cells to environmental stimuli. In cancer this network is deregulated, resulting in alterations in cellular growth and metabolism that serve to support the survival and spread of tumors.

Dr. Eisenman received his PhD from the Department of Biophysics at the University of Chicago and carried out postdoctoral work in virology at the Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research and in cell biology at the MIT Cancer Center. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts & Sciences and is a fellow of the American Academy for the Advancement of Sciences and the American Association for Cancer Research. He has served on scientific advisory boards of the Salk Institute Cancer Center, the Lineberger Cancer Center at the University of North Carolina, the Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research, and the Center for Integrated Genomics at the University of Lausanne.


Professor and Director, Institute for Cancer Genetics, Columbia University Medical Center Uris Professor of Pathology

Dr. Dalla-Favera has provided key leadership to the cancer research community at Columbia University Medical Center, particularly in his roles as founding Director of the Institute for Cancer Genetics and, from 2005-2011, as Director of the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center. As a researcher, he has contributed much of the current knowledge on the genetic lesions responsible for human B cell lymphoma. Dr. Dalla-Favera has been recognized with several national awards, including the 2006 William Dameshek Prize for Outstanding Contribution to Hematology from The American Society of Hematology. In 2011 he was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences.


Professor and Division Director, Gynecologic Oncology, University of Washington

Dr. Barbara Goff received her MD at the University of Pennsylvania and did her residency at Harvard Medical School.  She did her gynecologic oncology fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital and then joined the faculty at the University of Washington in Seattle.  She became the director of the Division of Gynecologic Oncology at the University of Washington and Seattle Cancer Care Alliance in 2005.  Her major research focus has been in early detection of ovarian cancer, surgical skills training, novel therapeutics and patterns of care, cost effectiveness, and quality outcomes research in the treatment of ovarian cancer. Dr. Goff became the president of the Society of Gynecologic Oncology and the Foundation for Gynecologic Oncology in 2013.  She lives in Seattle, Washington with her husband who is also a gynecologic oncologist and their two children.

I support Cure First because I see it as one of the most logical ways to identify new treatments and cures for patients with cancer. It truly allows the promise of personalized medicine to become a reality.
— Barbara Goff, MD

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Associate Member, Clinical Research Division, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

Dr. V.K. Gadi is a translational scientist and medical oncologist who specializes in caring for patients with breast cancer at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. In addition to providing clinical care to patients, his research interests include: cancer immunology, functional genetics, and diagnostics research and development.

The old strategies have had their way and they’re not quite working.
Today we can build functional genomic maps to get us where we need to be.
— VK Gadi, MD, PhD


Story Teller

Joel ben Izzy began his professional career in 1983, after graduating from Stanford with a degree in English, Creative Writing and Storytelling. His stories have carried him to many places rarely frequented by storytellers. His work as a story consultant has him coaching and teaching story skills to folks in fields ranging from film to high-tech, from banking to advertising, from medicine to law.

Joel's own story took a sharp twist in the summer of 1997, when he was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. Though usually a treatable form of the disease, in his case there was a strange complication; when he awoke from surgery he discovered that he could no longer speak. So Joel began an adventure as strange as any story he had ever told, which was to become the basis for his book and his reason to get involved in the Cure First project and to help to tell its story.

In Memoriam:

Associate Professor, Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, University of Washington

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Dr. Mendez graduated from Princeton University and received his MD from the University of Maryland School of Medicine. He received a MS from the University of Washington’s School of Public Health. Dr. Mendez focused on markers of disease progression in head and neck cancer. Dr Méndez was interested in the genetics of tumor cells and the mechanisms that allow tumor cells to spread. His results may one day allow physicians to predict which tumors are more likely to spread, information that will, in turn, affect treatment decisions. His work will help to identify genetic vulnerabilities common to metastatic cells that can be exploited therapeutically.  He was a national speaker on robotic surgery and the genetics of head and neck cancer.