Science Leadership


Alan Bernstein, PhD | Co-chairperson
President & CEO
Canadian Institute for Advanced Research
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Dr. Alan Bernstein is President of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR), Canada’s global research institute. From 2008-2011, Dr. Bernstein was the executive director of the Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise, an international alliance of researchers and funders charged with accelerating the search for an HIV vaccine. Previously, he served as the founding president of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (2000-2007), Canada’s federal agency for the support of health research. In that capacity, he led the transformation of health research in Canada. After receiving his Ph.D. from the University of Toronto, and following postdoctoral work in London, Dr. Bernstein joined the Ontario Cancer Institute (1974-1985). In 1985, he joined the new Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute in Toronto, was named Associate Director in 1988 and then Director of Research (1994-2000). Internationally known for his contributions to our understanding of the molecular basis of cancer, Dr. Bernstein has made extensive contributions to the study of stem cells, hematopoiesis and cancer. He chairs or is a member of advisory and review boards in Canada, the US, UK and Italy. Dr. Bernstein has received numerous awards and honourary degrees for his contributions to science, including the 2008 Gairdner Wightman Award, induction into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame, and the Henry G. Friesen International Prize in Health Research. He is a Senior Research Fellow of Massey College, received the Order of Ontario in 2018 and was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2002.

Phillip A. Sharp, PhD |  Co-chairperson
Institute Professor
David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Cambridge, MA

A world leader of research in molecular biology and biochemistry, Dr. Phillip A. Sharp is Institute Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research. His research has centered on the molecular biology of gene expression relevant to cancer and the mechanisms of RNA splicing. His discovery in 1977 provided the first indications of “discontinuous genes” in mammalian cells and fundamentally changed scientists’ understanding of gene structure, earning Dr. Sharp the 1993 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. Dr. Sharp co-founded Biogen (now Biogen Idec), Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, an early-stage therapeutics company and Magen Biosciences Inc., a biotechnology company developing agents to promote the health of human skin.

Carlos L. Arteaga, MD
UT Southwestern Harold C. Simmons
Comprehensive Cancer Center

Dr. Carlos L. Arteaga is the Director of the Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center and Associate Dean of Oncology Programs at UT Southwestern Medical Center. Dr. Arteaga earned his medical degree at the University of Guayaquil in Ecuador. He trained in internal medicine and medical oncology at Emory University and the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. He joined Vanderbilt University Medical Center in 1989, where he held the Donna S. Hall Chair in Breast Cancer Research and served at the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center (VICC) as Director of the Center for Cancer Targeted Therapies, the Director of the Breast Cancer Program, and the Associate Director for Translational/Clinical Research until 2017, when he joined UT Southwestern. Dr. Arteaga has more than 300 publications in the areas of oncogenes and breast tumor initiation and progression, development of targeted therapies and biomarkers of drug action and resistance, and investigator-initiated clinical trials in breast cancer. His research is or has been funded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), CPRIT, the American Cancer Society, the Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Program, Stand Up 2 Cancer (SU2C), and the Susan G. Komen for the Cure and Breast Cancer Research foundations. During his career, Dr. Arteaga has received several awards, including the American Association for Cancer Research-Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Award, the American Cancer Society Clinical Research Professor Award, the Gianni Bonadonna Award from the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the Brinker Award for Scientific Distinction from the Susan G. Komen Foundation, the 2015 Prize for Scientific Excellence in Medicine from the American-Italian Cancer Foundation, and the Clinical Investigator Award from the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs. He is an elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a Fellow of the American Association for Cancer Research Academy, an elected member of both the American Society for Clinical Investigation and the Association of American Physicians, and member of the Susan G. Komen Scientific Advisory Board. He also serves on the advisory boards.

Jenny C. Chang, MD
Emily Herrmann Chair in Cancer Research
​Houston Methodist Research Institute Director, Houston Methodist Cancer Center
Houston, Texas

Dr. Jenny C. Chang is Director of the Cancer Center at Houston Methodist Hospital in Houston, Texas, and Professor at Weill Cornell Medical School. She obtained her medical degree at Cambridge University in England, and then completed fellowship training in medical oncology at the Royal Marsden Hospital/Institute for Cancer Research in the United Kingdom. She was also awarded a research doctorate from the University of London. Her recent work has focused on the intrinsic therapy resistance of cancer stem cells (CSCs), which has led to several publications and international presentations. In addition, she has been awarded several federal grants to evaluate novel biologic agents, and holds patents on new technologic advances and therapeutic agents. Dr. Chang has worked in the field of cancer stem cells for more than ten years. After her discovery that CSCs are chemo-resistant, and that targeting the EGFR/HER2 pathway can decrease this subpopulation, Dr. Chang has played a key role in demonstrating some of the limitations and mechanisms of CSCs (Creighton et al., 2009; Li et al., 2008). Her work is now focused on the mechanisms that regulate CSCs, as well as initiating and planning clinical trials that target this critical tumor initiating subpopulation. She is also interested in characterizing the cross-talk between these different pathways that may lead to mechanisms of resistance, and has identified some of the chief regulatory pathways, including inducible nitric oxide (iNOS) and JAK/STAT3 signaling involved in CSC self-renewal (Dave et al., 2014; Dave et al., 2017). She is a world-renown clinical investigator, credited as one of the first to describe intrinsic chemo-resistance of CSCs.

Carol Prives, PhD
DaCosta Professor of Biological Sciences
​Columbia University
New York, New York

Carol Prives is the DaCosta Professor of Biological Sciences at Columbia University. She was educated in Canada, receiving her BSc and PhD from McGill University. After postdoctoral training at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and the Weizmann Institute, she became a faculty member at the Weizmann, after which she joined the Biological Sciences Department at Columbia University where she was appointed to a named professorship in 1995. Dr Prives served as Chair of that department between 2000 and 2004. Since the late 1980’s her work has focused on the p53 tumor suppressor protein, the product of the most frequently mutated gene in human cancers. Her work has focused on the structure and functional analysis of the p53 protein especially as it relates to its roles as a transcriptional activator. Similarly she has examined how cancer related mutant forms of p53 regulate tumorigenesis. Work from her group has also illuminated the functions of the p53 negative regulators, Mdm2 and MdmX. Dr Prives has served as Chair of both the Experimental Virology and the Cell and Molecular Pathology Study Sections of the NIH and was a member of the NCI Intramural Scientific Advisory Board. She was also a member of the Advisory Boards of the Dana-Farber Cancer Center, the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and the Massachusetts General Cancer Center as well as the American Association for Cancer Research. Dr Prives has received several honors including being named an American Cancer Society Research Professor, election to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Institute of Medicine and the National Academy of Sciences. She has received awards and lectureships including the NCI Rosalind E Franklin Award for Women in Science and the AACR-Women in Cancer Research Charlotte Friend Memorial Lectureship Award. Most recently she was awarded an honorary doctorate from McGill University, her alma mater.

Patrick Sullivan
Patient Advocate
President & Founder, Team Finn Foundation 

Patrick Sullivan is a passionate childhood cancer advocate, Chairman of the Board of Coast to Coast Against Cancer Foundation, the President and a founder of the Team Finn Foundation, and Co-Founder of Ac2orn. Patrick became an advocate after his twin son Finn was diagnosed with Rhabdomyosarcoma in 2007 and he heard the word “incurable” for the first time. His desire to make a change in cancer research is in part an effort to pay an un-payable debt to his son Finn and to change the stories of other Finn’s.

Patrick participates in several national and international initiatives that include member of the AACR Pediatric Cancer Working Group, lead Patient Advocate on the St. Baldrick’s – Stand-Up to Cancer Pediatric Cancer Dream Team, Patient Advocate on the SU2C Canada Cancer Stem Cell Dream Team, Director on the Canadian Cancer Research Alliance, Co-Lead of the Terry Fox Research Profyle initiative, member of the CTCG Lay Representative Committee and Chair of the Bio-CanRX Cancer Stakeholder Alliance.

By profession, Patrick is a securities and corporate-commercial litigator and one of the founding partners of Taylor Veinotte Sullivan. Patrick is the proud father of three remarkable children, Baird, Sarah and Finn and would do almost anything for the simple pleasure of holding Finn’s hand again.