Laura Jean Esserman, M.D., MBA

Director, Carol Franc Buck Breast Care Center
Professor of Surgery and Radiology
University of California, San Francisco (UCSF)

Dr. Esserman is a surgeon and breast cancer oncology specialist, and is the Director of the Carol Franc Buck Breast Care Center at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF).  In 1996, she started the Center of Excellence for Breast Cancer Care to integrate clinical care and research, automate tools for the capture of patient and clinical data, and develop systems to tailor care to biology, patient preference, and performance.  She is nationally and internationally recognized leader in the field of breast cancer and has published over 200 peer reviewed publications.  She is the Principle Investigator of the I-SPY TRIAL program, a multi-site neoadjuvant standing phase 2 adaptive clinical trial that has evolved into a model for translational research, the development of companion diagnostics, and innovation in clinical trial design.  Dr. Esserman launched a University of California-wide breast cancer initiative called the Athena Breast Health Network, designed to follow 150,000 women from screening through treatment and outcomes, incorporating the latest in molecular testing and web-based tools into the course of care.  Athena is now launching a large demonstration project to optimize risk-based screening.  She served as a member of President Obama’s council of advisors on science and technology (PCAST) Working Group on Advancing Innovation in Drug Development and Evaluation that is exploring ways that the federal government can optimize support for science-based innovation in drug development and regulatory evaluation processes.  Dr. Esserman received her A.B. from Harvard University, and her M.D. and MBA from Stanford University.