NEW YORK, Oct. 13, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- The Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF), the nation's highest rated breast cancer organization, announced today it has appointed Marc Hurlbert, PhD, as its new Chief Mission Officer (CMO). Formerly the Executive Director of the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade, Hurlbert succeeds Margaret (Peg) Mastrianni who will retire in January 2016 after serving as BCRF's Deputy Director and Chief Program Officer for the past 14-plus years. Dr. Hurlbert will oversee the foundation's global research grants program and a nearly $50 million annual research-granting budget. BCRF will also serve as the new home of the Metastatic Breast Cancer Alliance (MBCA), where Dr. Hurlbert has served as Chair since it was founded in 2013 and will continue to lead at BCRF.
"Peg Mastrianni, my dear friend and colleague, has helped shape BCRF into the world-renowned grant making organization it is today. She will be missed tremendously but I am sincerely grateful that she helped us identify Dr. Marc Hurlbert as her successor," said Myra Biblowit, President & CEO of BCRF. "We have known Marc for years, especially in his role as the head of the MBCA. Marc's invaluable expertise, profound passion and laser sharp focus are a perfect fit for BCRF. His appointment today, on Metastatic Breast Cancer Day, aptly reinforces BCRF's deep commitment to this area of research."
Dr. Hurlbert's dedication to science and medicine is personal. He lost his mother when he was only four weeks old. He cites this early loss as the driving force behind his motivation to improve public health. Armed with a PhD in pharmacology, and previous experience as a pharmacologist, he decided to focus on breast cancer, the second most common cancer in American women.
"This is an exciting time in cancer research, there has been tremendous progress made in the past few years. Women diagnosed with breast cancer are now living longer and with a better quality of life," said Dr. Hurlbert. "There is still much more work, and I am thrilled to join BCRF and advance its mission to accelerate research so we have new ways to prevent, diagnose, treat and, ultimately, cure breast cancer."
As CMO, Dr. Hurlbert will work toward BCRF's mission to be the end of breast cancer by advancing the world's most promising research. BCRF's research portfolio and its reputation as the non-profit leader in breast cancer research, particularly its focus on metastatic research, inspired Hurlbert to join the foundation.
In 2015, BCRF's annual grants program has committed more than $14.5 million to metastatic breast cancer research. Metastasis occurs when cancer cells break away from a tumor and travel to distant parts of the body—there is no curative treatment for metastatic breast cancer. BCRF-funded studies focus on understanding the biology of why and how cancer cells spread, the development of new treatments for advanced disease, clinical trials for new drug or drug combinations and correlative research to discover biomarkers that can predict which breast cancers are more likely to spread.
In 2013, BCRF established the Evelyn H. Lauder Founder's Fund, a multi-year international program that is the first large-scale global effort to unravel the biology of metastasis. With $31 million raised to date, it is the largest privately funded project exclusively focused on metastasis in the world.
BCRF's focus on metastatic breast cancer research makes it the ideal new headquarters for the Metastatic Breast Cancer Alliance. The Alliance is comprised of organizations and individuals with the sole mission of accelerating research and developing new treatments for metastatic breast cancer by encouraging collaboration. In his ongoing role with the Alliance, Hurlbert will continue to work toward improving the prognosis of women and men living with metastatic breast cancer.
Dr. Hurlbert has served as the Chairman of the Board of the International Cancer Research Partnership, the Health Research Alliance and is also the former chairman of the Cancer Committee Advisory Board for the New York Presbyterian Hospital.
The Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF) is committed to being the end of breast cancer by advancing the world's most promising research. Founded by Evelyn H. Lauder in 1993, BCRF-funded investigators have been deeply involved in every major breakthrough in breast cancer prevention, diagnosis, treatment and survivorship. By investing 91 cents of every dollar directly in its mission, BCRF remains one of the nation's most fiscally responsible nonprofits. BCRF is the only breast cancer organization with an "A+" from CharityWatch, together with Charity Navigator's highest rating of four stars 13 times since 2002. Visit www.bcrfcure.org to learn more.
Stephanie Kauffman, BCRF Chief Communications Officer, (646) 497-2609 or [email protected]
Sadia Zapp, BCRF Associate Director of Communications, (646) 497-2639 or [email protected]
SOURCE Breast Cancer Research Foundation