|Javier Cortes, Spain
|Richard De Boer, Australia
|Bruce Mann, Australia
|Alastair Thompson, USA
UK Association of Breast Surgeons (ABS)
|Leena Chagla, UK
|Sarah Downey, UK
|Yazan Masannat, UK
|Olga Oikonomidou, UK
Prof. Bruce Mann is Professor of Surgery at the University of Melbourne and Director of The Breast Service at the Royal Melbourne and Royal Women’s Hospital in Melbourne. He is on the council of Breast SurgANZ, the Scientific Advisory Committee of the ANZ Breast Cancer Trials Group and is past president of the Clinical Oncology Society of Australia. He has been involved in many clinical trials and much clinical and translational research regarding breast cancer, with his main research interest being tailoring treatment to the disease and the patient.
Prof. Alastair Thompson graduated from the University of Edinburgh, UK with Distinction in Surgery and subsequently trained as a Clinician Scientist and Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh. In 2014 he moved from the position of Professor of Surgical Oncology, Clinical Lead for the Dundee Cancer Centre/Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre and Foundation Director of the Clinical Research Centre, Dundee, UK to the Department of Surgical Oncology, The University of Texas, MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas, specializing in breast cancer.
Achievements to date include setting up and chairing the Breast Cancer Campaign Breast Tissue Bank Board for the UK and Eire, leading the 12,000 patient UK National Audit of Screen Detected DCIS and, for 5 years to 2014, chairing the UK National Cancer Research Institute, Breast Clinical Studies Group (with oversight of 120 academic and commercial clinical studies in breast cancer). He actively contributes to a range of clinical trials in the prevention, early detection and therapy of breast cancer. He remains as UK Chief Investigator for a number of key trials including MINDACT, MA32 and SOLE and continues to chair the data monitoring committees and trials steering groups for several phase II drug trials and phase III surgical trials respectively in the UK.
Active in translational laboratory research, he built a breast cancer research program over 15 years in Dundee, including a xenograft program and tissue banking facility with a focus on the p53 network and drug development. He has successfully supervised 20 PhD or research MD students and currently has 4 students completing PhDs. The impact of over 200 peer reviewed research papers has included global firsts demonstrating the effect of drugs in vivo in animal models and in human cancers.
He continues to provide leadership in trials and clinical translational research with colleagues in Europe and Australasia while establishing clinical trials and laboratory collaborations in the US, through membership of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, American Association of Cancer Research, South West Oncology Group and Translational Breast Cancer Research Consortium.
Dr. Javier Cortes received a degree in Medicine and Surgery from the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid in 1996. He continued his studies at the University of Navarra, specialising in Medical Oncology at the Clínica Universitaria de Navarra, where he continued as Assistant in the Department of Oncology from 2002. He was Associated Professor of Oncology in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Navarra during that period. Dr. Cortés was awarded the title of Doctor in Medical Oncology from the University of Navarra in 2002. Since 2003, he has worked in the Department of Medical Oncology at the Hospital Vall d’ Hebron, Barcelona, where he is Coordinator of the Teaching and Training Programme for Residents in Oncology and Senior Specialist in the Area of Breast Cancer with a special interest in New Drugs Development. Dr. Cortés is Head of the Breast Cancer Unit and the Melanoma Unit.
In addition, he has two masters’ degree: “Medical Direction and Clinical Management” by the Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia (UNED) and “Research methodology in Health Sciences” by the Universidad Autonoma de Barcelona and a degree in “Statistics in Health Sciences” by the Universidad Autonoma de Barcelona.
Dr. Cortes is the author of more than 100 publications, especially about breast tumours and new drugs and more than 250 communications at different conferences. He actively participates in the development of numerous national and international clinical investigations, especially in relation to drugs directed against molecular targets and new chemotherapy agents, and he is an ad hoc reviewer of various oncology journals.
Dr Cortés is an active member of the Spanish, European, and American Societies of Medical Oncology (SEOM, ESMO, ASCO), a member of the Scientific Committee of the European Society of Medical Oncology and the Scientific Committee of SOLTI group.
Dr. Richard De Boer completed his basic medical and oncology training at the Royal Melbourne Hospital and then in 1997 undertook a 3-year breast and lung cancer clinical research fellowship at the Royal Marsden Hospital in London, working with Professor Ian Smith.
He returned to Melbourne in 2000 and since then has been a consultant medical oncologist working in both public and private practice. His primary areas of clinical interest are in breast and lung cancer, with breast cancer interests focusing on endocrine therapy and mechanisms of resistance, treatment-induced bone loss and bone metastases, and biological predictors of response/survival. He is actively involved in clinical research, and is a member of the Australian New Zealand Breast Cancer Trials Group, and head of the Breast Trials group of Cancer Trials Australia. He has authored or co-authored articles appearing in journals such as the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Annals of Oncology, The Breast and British Journal of Cancer.
Kenneth Elder is currently a consultant breast surgeon at the Western general hospital in Edinburgh where he is the breast lead for the University of Edinburgh ChM qualification.
He undertook his undergraduate medical training at the University of Nottingham qualifying in 2008. At the end of his medical career he travelled to East Timor to work as a disaster relief doctor and was awarded The Worshipful Society of Apothecaries of London prize for Conflict and Catastrophe Medicine. He completed his higher surgical training in Edinburgh and surrounding hospitals. During his training he completed a research fellowship at the Peter Macallum Cancer Research Centre in Melbourne Australia under Professor Bruce Mann and Professor Iain Campbell looking at the efficacy of modern breast screening and the genetics of pre-cancerous breast disease. For his time there he was awarded the Ethicon travelling scholarship. This research has been published widely and has been presented around the world. He returned to Australia to complete a clinical fellowship under Professor Bruce Mann at the Royal Women’s Hospital of Melbourne. Mr. Elder is also an invited member of the teaching faculty at the Royal College of Surgeons of Hong Kong.
Miss Leena Chagla is the President of the Association of Breast Surgery and the past President of the Liverpool and Northwest Society of Surgeons. She heads the breast unit at Mersey and West Lancashire Teaching Hospitals which is actively involved in clinical innovation and trials. She continues to publish regularly in peer reviewed journals.
Leena qualified from Grant Medical College, Mumbai, with a gold medal in Surgery. Whilst in India, she trained at the Sir JJ Hospital and at the Tata Memorial Cancer Centre. Her passion for surgical oncology developed in those formative years.
She is a popular speaker both nationally and internationally and is involved in the development of guidelines for the management of breast cancer. She is passionate about MDT working and the welfare of trainees. She launched the Anti-bullying Campaign (#CoreItOut) for ABS in alliance with RCSEd. She represented ABS on the pathology Big 18 and the organising committee of Symposia Mammographicum.
Leena was instrumental in setting up the International Forum at ABS with a view to sharing good practice globally. She is committed to improving and standardising Breast cancer care through education and training. She is an Educational Supervisor for the National Oncoplastic Fellow for the last 20 years and she has trained international trainees from LMICs on the MTI scheme since 2018. She represented Liverpool and Northern Counties in water-polo, and she enjoys all sport.
Sarah Downey qualified from Nottingham University in the last century! Undertook SHO training in Bristol, Research in Breast Cancer Oncology in Manchester and Registrar training in Yorkshire.
Major interest in surgical training. First involvement in Royal College of Surgeons of England as examiner for MRCS at time OSCE introduced and then Chair of Court of Examiners for RCS England Part of regional training committee since came to East Anglia in 2005. Joined General Surgery National training committee (SAC) in 2015 and became regional Training Programme Director in 2018. Currently Chair of General Surgery SAC. Former TIG Chair and faculty on Advanced Breast Cancer Course.
Other roles include Divisional Director in own hospital for 5 years – opened new daycase unit. Acted as regional Breast Screening QA Surgeon for 6 years. Currently undergraduate PBL tutor and online tutor for oncoplastic MS. Honorary Associate Professor for Norwich medical School. Director of Screening for own Trust and Clinical Appraisal Lead.
Currently Vice President of ABS.
Yazan Masannat is a Consultant Oncoplastic Breast Surgeon at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary and one of the Associate Post Graduate Deans at NHS Education for Scotland. He is an Honorary Senior Clinical Lecturer at the University of Aberdeen and an E-Tutor with the University of East Anglia. He is on the Board of Trustees of the Association of Breast Surgery, a member of their education and training committee and the meetings secretary. He is also on the Education and training committee for the European Society of Surgical Oncology. He is the communications lead at the iBRA-net in addition to being an examiner at the European Board of Surgical Oncology and the European Board of Breast Surgery exams (UEMS)
Yazan has more than 60 publications and has been awarded numerous research grants including the prestigious NRS Fellowship award by the Chief Scientist Office (CSO) in Scotland. This is to continue research on Novel MRI techniques in Breast Surgery with the Team at the University of Aberdeen which he does on top of his clinical work.
Yazan is also the creator of www.iBreastBook.com which is a free online resource with contributions from many of the leading Breast and Plastic surgeons across the world. The iBreastBook Webinar series, which he started during the covid pandemic with the support of colleagues has been a huge international success.
Dr. Olga Oikonomidou is an Academic Consultant Medical Oncologist specializing in breast cancer and Breast Cancer Translational Research Group Leader at the Institute of Genetics and Cancer, University of Edinburgh. Other than a degree in Medicine, she holds a BSc in Human Genetics, MSc in Oncology, MRes in Immunology and a PhD in translational medicine. Her responsibilities are split between running a busy breast oncology practice and leading on a large portfolio of clinical trials and breast cancer translational studies. Dr Oikonomidou is a clinical expert for NICE and SMC and has been involved in numerous technology appraisals since 2015. She has received several prestigious grants for her clinical research projects. She is on the TMG of numerous national and international trials. She is currently the global Chief Investigator of 2 multinational multicentre clinical trials, UK Chief Investigator of 4 clinical trials and the PI for more than 50 trials. Her academic research interest is focused on prediction of biomarkers of response to treatment and clinical trials in breast cancer in all phases.