Komen New England 2nd Annual Breast Cancer Symposium
Wellness and Breast Cancer
March 23, 2018

In 2016, Susan G. Komen® announced our bold goal: by 2026, reduce current rates of breast cancer mortality in the U.S. by 50%. On March 23, 2018, Komen New England will host the 2nd Annual Breast Cancer Symposium. Attendees will hear from distinguished keynote speaker Dr. Jennifer Ligibel, Komen Scholars, researchers and leaders in breast cancer initiatives. Attendees will learn about the connection between the occurrence & recurrence of breast cancer and a variety of social, physical, emotional and environmental lifestyle factors.

Topics included are:

  • Obesity, weight loss & breast cancer recurrence
  • Emotional resilience and breast cancer outcomes
  • Diabetes, inflammation and breast cancer among African American women
  • Collaborative efforts & practical strategies to eliminate breast cancer disparities.


Jennifer Ligibel, MD (Keynote) — Obesity, weight loss & the risk of breast cancer recurrence

I am interested in the relationship between energy balance and breast cancer prognosis. I am currently conducting a trial looking at the impact of exercise on insulin and a number of other fat-derived hormones in breast cancer survivors, as well as a project looking at the feasibility of home-based exercise in patients undergoing treatment for early-stage breast cancer. I am interested in studying the biological impact of exercise on the body, as well as to further study the impact of diet and exercise on breast cancer prognosis.



Steven S. Coughlin, PhD, MPH — Impact of the natural, social, built & policy environments on breast cancer

Steven S. Coughlin, PhD, MPH was previously a senior epidemiologist in the Post-Deployment Health Epidemiology Program, Office of Public Health, at the Department of Veterans Affairs and is currently an Adjunct Professor of Epidemiology at Emory University.  Previously he was a senior cancer epidemiologist at the CDC, and an Associate Professor of Epidemiology and Director of the Program in Public Health Ethics at Tulane University.  Dr. Coughlin is an Associate Editor of the American Journal of Epidemiology.




Dr. Julie Palmer, Sc.D. — Diabetes & Breast Cancer

Dr. Palmer’s major research interest is the etiology of breast cancer, with a particular focus on African American women. She was instrumental in designing and implementing the Black Women’s Health Study, a cohort study of 59,000 women, and has served as co-investigator of the study since its inception in 1995. Dr. Palmer is director of genetics research in the Black Women’s Health Study and has spearheaded efforts to use DNA from study participants in studies of the genetics of breast cancer, other cancers, lupus, uterine fibroids, type 2 diabetes, and sarcoidosis.



Elyse Park, PhD, MPH – Emotional Resilience & Breast Cancer

Dr. Park is clinical health psychologist and health services researcher who focuses on understanding and improving health-related behaviors and quality of life functioning across the continuum of patients at risk for cancer through cancer survivors.  Clinically, she treats cancer survivors at the MGH Behavioral Medicine Clinic.  She has dual leadership roles directing the behavioral science research at the MGH Cancer Center’s Survivorship Program and the MGH Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine.  She launched the Survivorship Resiliency group treatment program, held at MGH Boston, Waltham and Danvers. An Associate Professor in Psychiatry at Mass General Hospital in Boston, her research is conducted at the MGH Mongan Institute for Health Policy Center Her clinical research is supported by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), American Cancer Society, Livestrong, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.


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