Course Directors

Researcher (Professor)
University of Hawaii Cancer Center

University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine

Director of the SF Coordinating Center
California Pacific Medical Center

Scientific Action Committee

Isabella dos Santos Silva, MD, PhD
London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Nico Karssemeijer, PhD
Radboud University Medical Center

Gertraud Maskarinec, MD, PhD
University of Hawaii Cancer Center

Jennifer Harvey, MD
Breast Care Center
University of Virginia Health Systems

Per Hall, MD, PhD
Karolinska Institute

Celine Vachon, PhD
Mayo Clinic


Vignesh Arasu, MD, PhD

Kaiser Permanente Vallejo Medical Center, California

Vignesh Arasu, MD, is a breast radiologist at Kaiser Permanente Vallejo Medical Center and a Ph.D. student in Epidemiology and Translational Science at University of California, San Francisco. His research focuses on background parenchymal enhancement (BPE), an emerging imaging biomarker assessed on breast MRI and applied to primary risk and treatment response prediction. He is a BCSC collaborator evaluating primary risk prediction of BPE and comparative effects with mammographic breast density. He is also a co-investigator in the NIH/NCI funded ISPY2 and ISPY2+ trials in the research lab of Dr. Nola Hylton, where he is helping develop quantitative imaging prediction models of neoadjuvant chemotherapy response and evaluating the adjunctive role of quantitative BPE in this setting.

Sue AstleySue Astley, PhD

University of Manchester

Sue Astley leads work at the University of Manchester on the development and evaluation of imaging biomarkers for breast cancer risk, and the science underpinning stratified screening. Her research encompasses a range of technologies including Computer Aided Detection, Digital Breast Tomosynthesis, electrical impedance measurement of breast density, and quantification of Breast Parenchymal Enhancement in MRI. Her group is currently using AI to predict density and risk from standard and low dose mammograms, with the aim of early risk stratification. A mathematician and physicist by training, she worked as an astronomer and cosmic ray physicist before developing an interest in medical imaging.

Regina Barzilay, PhD

Delta Electronics Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
Abdul Latif Jameel Clinic for Machine Learning in Health (J-Clinic)
MIT Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS)
MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) 

Regina Barzilay is a professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and a member of the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Her research interests are in natural language processing. Currently, Prof. Barzilay is focused on bringing the power of machine learning to oncology. In collaboration with physicians and her students, she is devising deep learning models that utilize imaging, free text, and structured data to identify trends that affect early diagnosis, treatment, and disease prevention. Prof. Barzilay is poised to play a leading role in creating new models that advance the capacity of computers to harness the power of human language data. Regina Barzilay is a recipient of various awards including the MacArthur Fellowship, NSF Career Award, the MIT Technology Review TR-35 Award, Microsoft Faculty Fellowship and several Best Paper Awards in top NLP conferences. In 2017, she received a MacArthur fellowship, an ACL fellowship and an AAAI fellowship. Prof. Barzilay received her MS and BS from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. Regina Barzilay received her PhD in Computer Science from Columbia University, and spent a year as a postdoc at Cornell University.

Wolfgang Buchberger, MD, Msc

Head of Institute of Quality and Efficiency in Medicine
UMIT – Private University for Health Sciences, Medical Informatics and Technology

Education and professional experience:
1981: Doctor of Medicine (M.D.), University of Vienna, Austria

2003: Master of Science (M.SC.) in Health Sciences, UMIT – Private University for Health Sciences, Medical Informatics and Technology, Hall in Tirol, Austria
1982-1991: Training in general medicine and diagnostic radiology
1991-1995: Staff radiologist, Department of Diagnostic Radiology, University of Innsbruck, Austria
1995-2003: Associate Professor of Radiology, Department of Diagnostic Radiology, University of Innsbruck, Austria
2004-2009: Medical Director, University Hospital Innsbruck, Austria
2009-2018: Chief Medical Officer (CMO), Tirol Kliniken (Tyrolean Hospitals) Ltd.
2018-: Head of Institute of Quality and Efficiency in Medicine, UMIT, Hall in Tirol, Austria

Member of various regional and national expert committees for health care planning, quality management, and public health.

Lynn Chollet Hinton, PhD

Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Dr. Lynn Chollet Hinton is a research associate in the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She holds a BA in Biology from Grinnell College and obtained an MSPH (2013) and PhD (2017) in Epidemiology at UNC-Chapel Hill before joining the LCCC for postdoctoral research in 2017. Her research interests center on examining normal breast histology as well as the molecular epidemiology of breast cancer etiology and progression. She is particularly interested in understanding young women’s breast cancer and identifying biologic factors associated with the development of aggressive breast tumors. In her work, she has focused on examining interactions between aging, epidemiologic risk factors, breast tissue composition, and molecular and gene expression biomarkers of poor-prognostic breast tumors. Recently, she has utilized digital histologic methods to identify patterns in normal breast tissue morphology related to aging and exposure to breast cancer risk factors, providing insight into the role of breast stroma as a mediator of breast cancer risk.

Christine Gunn, PhD

Assistant Professor
Boston University School of Medicine, General Internal Medicine, Women’s Health Unit
Boston University School of Public Health, Department of Health Law, Policy & Management

Dr. Gunn is a health services researcher at the Boston University Schools of Medicine and Public Health. Her research is focused on risk communication, decision-making, and the utilization of evidence-based care. She has conducted an array of research on how patients and providers negotiate the experience of being at risk for cancer and its impact on the utilization of health services. She is the recipient of a K07 career development award from the National Cancer Institute that focuses on health literacy-related disparities in mammogram decision-making and behaviors. Her work has helped to characterize the experiences of patients and primary care providers in response to the implementation of dense breast legislation, especially in Massachusetts. Dr. Gunn has extensive experience in qualitative research methods, surveys, and mixed methods approaches to studying risk and prevention behaviors.

Per Hall, MD, PhD

Karolinska Institute

I am a medical oncologist by training and have spent the last 20 years as a full time researcher at the Karolinska Institute. Over the last 4 years I also have a part time position at the South General Hospital, Stockholm. Breast cancer is a potentially fatal disease that has increased dramatically throughout the world over the last decades.
We believe that individualize screening and prevention is what is needed to lower the burden breast cancer. The first step is therefore to identify women at high risk and offer them better breast cancer screening. Preventive measures should be suggested to those at very high risk.
Using the Karma Cohort [karmastudy.org] we are developing a risk model that takes mammographic features, lifestyle factors and genetics in to consideration. In the Karisma trial we are testing if lower doses of the anti-estrogen compound, tamoxifen, has the same protective effect as the established 20 mg dose. In 2020 we launch a study where we will compare risk based screening to ordinary age based screening. We will invite the 20% women with the highest risk of breast cancer for additional examinations. The aim is to contrast sensitivity, specificity and stage distribution between the two arms.

Susan Hankinson, ScD

Professor of Epidemiology
School of Public Health and Health Sciences
University of Massachusetts

Susan Hankinson, ScD, is Professor of Epidemiology at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and past Chair of the Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology at UMASS. She received her doctoral degree in epidemiology from the Harvard Chan School of Public Health, and prior to joining UMASS, served as Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Hankinson has been a long-term investigator with both the Nurses’ Health Study (NHS) and NHSII cohorts and past Principal Investigator of the NHS (2006-11). Her research focuses on the etiology and prevention of breast cancer. Her primary scientific interest has been in determining the role of lifestyle factors (e.g., adiposity and dietary intake), as well as endogenous hormones to risk of breast cancer, and improving current breast cancer risk prediction models. Further, she has broad expertise in the use of biomarkers (including blood, urine and tissue markers) in epidemiologic research. Recently, Dr. Hankinson and colleagues published on the joint contributions of plasma hormones, mammographic density and a genetic risk score to several breast cancer risk prediction models in the NHS cohort. Efforts to expand and validate this work are ongoing.

Solveig Hofvind, PhD

Cancer Registry of Norway
Oslo Metropolitan University

Hofvind is radiographer by training and did her master at the Norwegian school of sport sciences (Physical activity and risk of breast cancer). After 13 years work at Akershus University hospital, where she was the pioneer in establishing a breast clinic and BreastScreen Norway, she started to work at the Cancer Registry of Norway. The Cancer Registry is responsible for the administration and quality assurance of the screening program. She finished her PhD in 2005 (The Norwegian Breast Cancer Screening Program: Selected process indicators and their utilization in epidemiological research). Hofvind was guest professor at the University of Vermont, 2006-07, and 2010-11 and has a substantial network internationally. She has about 150 peer-review publications, mainly related to epidemiological aspects of breast cancer and mammographic screening. The has been actively involved in the European and International Cancer Screening Network, the Guideline Developing Group of European Commission Initiative on Breast Cancer and presented as an observer at several IARC workshops.

Gertraud Maskarinec, MD, PhD

Professor, Full Member
University of Hawaii Cancer Center, Honolulu

During the last 25 years, Dr. Maskarinec, a Professor at the University of Hawaii Cancer Center,has conducted epidemiologic research related to the development of breast cancer, type 2 diabetes, and other chronic conditions. To understand the disparate rates of disease across the multiethnic population of Hawaii, her work has focused on obesity and nutritional factors, in particular soy foods,carotenoids, and diet quality. In collaboration with colleagues and trainees,she has successfully designed and executed investigations and analyses within the Multiethnic Cohort, a large prospective study conducted in Hawaii and California. Her contributions have examined mammographic densities, obesity, hormonal factors, and inflammatory biomarkers as predictors of breast cancer incidence and survival.Several comparative mammographic density investigations included participants from Hawaii, Guam, the US, Japan, and Europe. In addition to observational studies, she has directed a number of randomized nutritional trials that examined intermediate endpoints of cancer risk as outcomes. Dr. Maskarinec’s education includes a medical degree from the Albert-Ludwigs Universität in Freiburg, Germany, and a doctoral degree in epidemiology from the University of Hawaii. As Assistant Director of Cancer Research Career Enhancement and Education, training of the next generation of cancer researchers constitutes a major part of her efforts.

Diana MigliorettiDiana L. Miglioretti, PhD

Dean’s Professor in Biostatistics
Department of Public Health Sciences
UC Davis School of Medicine

Diana L. Miglioretti, PhD, is the Dean’s Professor of Biostatistics at University of California Davis and a Senior Investigator at Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute. Her research focuses on breast cancer screening, diagnosis, and risk prediction and radiation exposure from medical imaging. She is a fellow of the American Statistical Association. Dr. Miglioretti co-leads the U.S. Breast Cancer Surveillance Consortium (BCSC), a network of six breast imaging registries with information collected on over 10 million mammography examinations since 1994. She is the contact PI of an NCI-funded program project and the PI of a PCORI-funded large pragmatic study using BCSC data to evaluate methods for improving breast cancer screening and surveillance by identifying women who might benefit from more frequent or intense imaging. She is also developing statistical methods for evaluating screening outcomes using the BCSC’s clustered, longitudinal observational data. Her research has provided evidence to inform breast cancer screening guidelines by the American Cancer Society and the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Dr. Miglioretti has collaborated on over 200 publications and enjoys mentoring graduate students and early-stage faculty.

Jennifer StoneJennifer Stone, PhD

Centre for Genetic Origins of Health and Disease
University of Western Australia

A/Prof Jennifer Stone is an epidemiologist/biostatistician with expertise in breast cancer, specifically mammographic density research. Most of her research aims to support accumulating evidence for the clinical use of mammographic breast density to improve breast cancer screening. She is currently a National Breast Cancer Foundation-funded Principal Research Fellow and is leading several nationally funded grants investigating novel measures of breast density in young women, knowledge and awareness of breast density in the general population, the impact of breast density notification in Western Australia and mammographic breast density in Western Australian Aboriginal women. She is also involved with several international projects investigating the genetic determinants of breast density as a strong and highly heritable intermediate phenotype for breast cancer risk.

Parisa Tehranifar, DrPH

Associate Professor of Epidemiology
Columbia University Medical Center
Mailman School of Public Health

Dr. Tehranifar’s broad research interests are in breast cancer prevention and health disparities. One area of her work focuses on understanding the contribution of emerging medical interventions as a source of health disparities, and includes leading an ongoing study that investigates a broad range of psychological outcomes and breast cancer screening and prevention behaviors in relation to state mandated disclosure of mammographic breast density in a racially/ethnically diverse populations. She collaborates on several life course studies of breast cancer, in which she examines the role of social factors in shaping adult cancer risk and risk factors, including mammographic breast density as a biomarker of breast cancer risk. Her current research focuses on midlife as a critical lifecourse stage for breast cancer risk, and includes several studies of determinants and distribution of mammographic density in women of racially/ethnically diverse and predominantly immigrant backgrounds. Dr. Tehranifar is also working on integration of mammographic density in clinical risk assessment, through a nested case-control study within the Sister Study.

Soo-Hwang Teo, MD

Chief Executive for Breast Cancer Research at Cancer Research Malaysia
Adjunct Professor at University of Malaysia

Professor Dr. Soo-Hwang Teo OBE established, and is now Chief Executive of Cancer Research Malaysia, Malaysia’s first independent cancer research non-profit organization, which is specifically focused on research of cancers prevalent in Malaysia. Professor Teo is the Principal Investigator of the Malaysian Breast Cancer Genetic Study (MyBrCa), The Cancer Genome Atlas Malaysia (TCGA-Malaysia), the Malaysian Ovarian Cancer Genetic Study (MyOvCa) and the Malaysian Mammographic Density Study (MyMammo). Professor Teo’s team builds models for risk assessment in the Asian population integrating lifestyle, genetic and mammographic images. MyBrCa has been part of the Breast Cancer Association Consortium and this has led to the identification of more than 100 genetic loci associated with an increased risk to breast cancer. MyBrCa makes an important contribution as these studies are only possible through collaboration involving large numbers of patients and the Malaysian studies are one of the few large Asian studies globally. Professor Teo’s team has completed a genomic and transcriptomic map of Asian Breast Cancers and shown that population specific influences may have an impact in treatment options and outcomes. Finally, Professor Teo’s team works on improving the survival of underserved Malaysian breast cancer patients, through nurse led programs.

Jeffrey A. Tice, MD

Professor of Clinical Medicine
University of California, San Francisco

Dr. Tice is a Professor of Medicine in the Division of General Internal Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. He received Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women’s Health (BIRCWH) career development award after his Clinical Research Fellowship.
His research focus is on breast cancer risk assessment, mammographic density, and breast cancer screening. Dr. Tice is currently a co-investigator on a P01 using data from the Breast Cancer Surveillance Consortium (BCSC), where he led the development of the BCSC model of breast cancer risk, which has been extended to include SNPs. He is also a co-investigator on a PCORI-funded pragmatic randomize trial, which uses the BCSC model with SNPs to guide screening recommendations based on breast cancer risk in 100,000 women.

Carla Van Gils, PhD

Professor of Clinical Epidemiology of Cancer
Julius Center for Health Sciences and Primary Care
University Medical Center Utrecht, The Netherlands

Carla van Gils, PhD is clinical epidemiologist and head of the Cancer Research Program of the Julius Center for Health Sciences and Primary Care, University Medical Center Utrecht, the Netherlands. She has been doing research on mammographic density and breast cancer screening since 1994 and is now the principal investigator of several projects on mammographic density funded by national and international organizations. This also includes a personal research award from the Dutch Cancer Society for her research line on breast density. Her interests are in ways of measuring mammographic density, determinants of mammographic density and the nature of the relationship between breast density and breast cancer risk. She uses breast density in risk prediction modelling in the population-based screening program and also among BRCA1/2 mutation carriers. Besides that she is evaluating ways of improving early breast cancer detection in women with dense breasts. She is the principal investigator of the DENSE trial (Dense tissue and Early breast Neoplasm ScrEening) trial, a large multicenter randomized controlled trial (>30,000 women) investigating the additional value of MRI for women with extremely dense breasts in the population based breast cancer screening program in the Netherlands. She is also a member of international consortia on mammographic density and a member of the Breast Cancer Working Group of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC), where she collaborates with researchers from 10 European countries to study mammographic density, genes, hormones, nutrition and lifestyle in relation to breast cancer risk. She has co-authored over 200 papers in peer-reviewed international journals.