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  • We envision a world free from cancer.

    Our research scientists and their teams collaborate with colleagues around the world to conduct cutting-edge research using large data-sets to:
    • understand the causes of cancer
    • find ways to prevent it or detect it early
    • improve outcomes for cancer survivors 
  • Our mission began more than 40 years ago.

    Established in 1974 as the Northern California Cancer Program, the organization later became known as the Northern California Cancer Center. The name was changed again in 2010 when it became the Cancer Prevention Institute of California (CPIC), which reflects the organization's broader scope and demonstrates its large scale impact of preventing cancer before it starts.
  • We are an independent research institute and a valued partner to many.

    Through its collaborative approach, CPIC also serves as an asset to the nation’s leading cancer fighting organizations, including the National Cancer Institute, and to scientists worldwide, educators, patients, and clinicians, and is affiliated with the Stanford Cancer Institute.
  • We work hard to understand who gets cancer and why.

    Our scientists are frequent contributors to major scientific journals, and often present their findings at important cancer-related conferences. CPIC research has been covered by numerous local, national and international media outlets, such as The New York Times and The Washington Post.
  • Every case of cancer counts…and is counted.

    CPIC operates the Greater Bay Area Cancer Registry as part of the National Cancer Institute's Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results program and the California Cancer Registry. As required by law, the registry gathers data from hospitals and doctors on all cancers diagnosed and treated in nine Bay Area counties. This information is used to produce cancer statistics and as a platform for research to understand cancer occurrences and survival. Our registry regularly earns Gold Standard Certification by the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries.
  • Our educational efforts reach people of all ethnicities and backgrounds.

    Our Community Education team provides important information to cancer survivors, health professionals and others through conferences and publications on many cancer-related topics including employment, patient advocacy, care giving, specific cancers, and treatments.

  • Breast cancer rates decline when hormone therapy is stopped.

    CPIC was first to report on the alarmingly high and increasing rates of breast cancer in the Bay Area and Marin County in the 1990s. In subsequent studies, CPIC found that when women stopped taking hormone replacement therapy, breast cancer rates declined immediately and dramatically. This showed that hormone therapy was a major contributor to the high rates previously reported and identified one clear path to breast cancer prevention.
  • Our work to associate tanning beds and melanoma prompted legislation.

    CPIC described increased occurrence of melanoma in young women in California, particularly in high socioeconomic areas, implicating use of tanning beds as one cause. This finding led to passage of the first statewide legislation to ban minors from using tanning beds, which should ultimately reduce occurrences of deadly melanoma in young persons.
  • Physical activity lowers your risk of Breast Cancer

    CPIC found that risk of breast cancer was lower for women engaging in more physical activity, such as walking and biking, doing household chores and yard work, and being active on the job. This shows a simple and practical way women can help prevent breast cancer from occurring.
  • Second-hand smoke increases the risk of lung and breast cancer.

    CPIC studies have shown that women exposed to second-hand tobacco smoke have a higher risk of lung cancer even if they don't smoke, and that exposure to household smoke increases their risk of breast cancer over and above the risk they incur from smoking themselves. These findings have been important in leading to anti-smoking legislation.
  • Vitamin D may reduce the risk of prostate cancer.

    CPIC assessed whether sun exposure, which is the main source of vitamin D, is related to prostate cancer risk. Using the difference in skin color measured on the forehead and upper underarm as an indicator of sun exposure, the study found that prostate cancer risk was reduced by 50% in men with a high sun exposure index, with an even higher reduction in risk noted in men with certain alterations in the vitamin D receptor gene.
  • Survival outcomes differ among Asian women of different ethnic backgrounds.

    CPIC was the first to show that breast cancer survival is not uniform across women of different Asian ethnicities, irrespective of how advanced the cancer was when diagnosed. In California, Korean, South Asian and Vietnamese women had the poorest survival after breast cancer, pointing to the need in these communities for better screening and/or breast cancer treatment.
  • Melanoma is on the rise throughout California.

    CPIC demonstrated that the rates of both early and more advanced melanomas were rising in all populations in California. This disturbing finding signals a true and alarming epidemic of this deadly cancer, and it has been cited over 245 times in the medical literature since 2009 because it identifies a major public health problem.
  • Survival disparities occur across many cancer types.

    CPIC showed that survival after follicular lymphoma, a common form of this cancer, is lower in poorer communities than in more affluent communities. This demonstrates population disparities in cancer treatment and shows a need in poorer communities for more access to skilled lymphoma care, including access to new successful drug treatments.
  • Our nail salon studies have widespread positive impact.

    CPIC found that California nail salons had higher than expected levels of carcinogens and other banned substances in the air, identifying the need for better standards and the importance of clarifying whether such exposures lead to cancer and other undesirable health outcomes.
  • Tailored approaches to healthcare are needed to address cultural differences.

    CPIC used two approaches to learn how best to help Vietnamese communities in California receive lifesaving colorectal cancer screening: one approach involved lay health workers directly educating the community on the importance of screening, and the other involved advertising about colorectal cancer screening. CPIC found that the use of lay health workers worked best to improve the screening rate, proving that organized community involvement improves colorectal screening practices among Vietnamese-Americans in California.
  • Lung cancer afflicts nonsmoking women more than men.

    CPIC was the first to show definitively that among nonsmokers, women were more likely than men to have lung cancer. Until this paper, there were no hard data about the incidence of lung cancer in nonsmokers. This study has been cited extensively as motivation for other research to understand the reasons why.
  • Genetic screening is especially important for African American and Hispanic women.

    CPIC was the first to study the level of BRCA1 mutations (genetic changes responsible for increased risk of breast cancer) in nonwhite women. This work found that young African American and Hispanic women with breast cancer had a particularly high prevalence of BRCA1 mutations, and signaled the importance to these communities and their doctors of screening for this mutation when indicated.

Board of Trustees

The Cancer Prevention Institute of California (CPIC) is governed by a Board of Trustees dedicated to CPIC’s mission of preventing cancer before it starts. The Board meets on a regular basis to provide a guiding hand that has helped CPIC earn its reputation of excellence as a world leader in cancer prevention research and outreach. The following individuals are members of the Board:

Elona Baum Judith Luce
Joan R. Bloom, Ph.D. Beverly S. Mitchell, M.D.
Joy Y. Boatwright Hilary Newsom Callan
Samuel Bronfman II Pete Sittnick
Pancho Chang Thomas T. Thomas
Doris Fisher
Louis S. Weller, Chair
Louisa Gloger
Kimberly A. Wright-Violich
Marianne Jackson
Jonathan W. Yu
Alan J. Lewis, Ph.D.

Founding Director Emeritus

Saul Rosenberg, M.D.

Elona Baum

Managing Director, DEFTA Partners

Elona Baum

Elona Baum has served on the CPIC Board of Trustees since 2014. She is managing director of DEFTA Partners.

Baum formerly served as vice president and associate general counsel of Coherus Biosciences. Prior to this role, she led the position of general counsel and vice president of business development for the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine. Earlier in her career, she held positions of increasing responsibility at Genentech Inc., including associate general counsel, director of regulatory policy and strategy, and secretary of the board of directors for Genentech’s Spanish subsidiary, Genentech Espana. 

Baum has more than 20 years of legal experience and expertise in research funding and drug development within the life sciences area. She is a frequent speaker at industry conferences and serves on the commercialization advisory committee of the Rick Hansen Institute. In 2013, she served as a delegate to the G8 Summit on Dementia and was a member of the expert focus group that considered appointment of global funding models and a dementia innovation envoy.

Baum commenced her legal career at private law firms in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is a graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles, with a degree in economics. She later earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of San Francisco, School of Law, and served as an extern for Justice John A. Arguelles of the California Supreme Court.

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Joan R. Bloom, Ph.D.

Professor, University of California, Berkeley
Joan R. Bloom

Joan Bloom has served on CPIC's Board of Trustees since 1988. She is a professor of Health Policy and Management at the University of California, Berkeley School of Public Health. Some of Dr. Bloom's research interests examine psycho-social interventions to: prevent the onset of chronic diseases like cancer, encourage early diagnoses, and improve the quality of life for individuals with chronic diseases like cancer, diabetes, cardiac disease, and chronic mental illness. Her experience in cancer research includes studies of educational support groups for young women with breast cancer, breast and cervical cancer intervention among low-income and minority women, and the effectiveness of risk notification intervention for cancer survivors. 

Dr. Bloom is a graduate of UC Berkeley, and earned a master's degree in sociology and a Ph.D. in sociology of education from Stanford University.

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Joy Yi Boatwright

Financial Advisor
Joy Yi Boatwright

Joy Yi Boatwright has served on the CPIC Board of Trustees since 2014. She has worked in the wealth management field for 16 years. Boatwright also conducts a seminar series designed to educate women on financial and life issues, and is a frequent speaker on women’s issues and work/life balance.
Boatwright is a cancer survivor dedicated to supporting cancer prevention research. She also supports such organizations as the Asian Art Museum, Junior Achievement of the Bay Area, and the San Francisco Symphony; and is a co-founder of the San Francisco Korean Immersion Education Alliance.

Boatwright holds a bachelor of science degree in human development from Cornell University and currently serves on the Cornell University Council.

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Samuel Bronfman II

Managing Partner, Bacchus Capital Management
Samuel Bronfman II

Samuel Bronfman II served on the CPIC Board of Trustees since 2002 and has held the position of chair from 2004-2015. He is a managing partner of Bacchus Capital Management, a San Francisco- and New York-based investment firm focused on providing strategic capital and making private equity investments in the wine industry. Bronfman has extensive experience in the wine industry having held the position of president at Seagram Chateau and Estate Wines. 

As chair of the CPIC Board, Bronfman has provided the leadership to help the organization develop a long-term strategic plan, assisted in the hiring of major scientific and executive leadership, and insured the CPIC's continued financial health. 

Bronfman is a graduate of Williams College.

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Pancho Chang

Strategic Business Advisor, Ravenswood Family Health Center
Pancho Chang

Pancho Chang has served on the CPIC Board of Trustees since 2010. He is a strategic business advisor at Ravenswood Family Health Center, an East Palo Alto nonprofit. Previously he was a programmer and  administrator at three local foundations. Chang began his career as a legal services attorney before running a community health center in Boston’s Chinatown. Subsequently, he was an acting policy deputy at the Federal Bureau of Primary Care and the community benefits director at Boston City Hospital, while serving as a community college trustee and a group insurance commissioner. 

Chang has held Pew health policy and Kellogg  leadership fellowships and served as an examiner for the Malcolm Baldrige national quality awards. 

He graduated from Brandeis University and earned a J.D. degree from Boston University.  

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Doris F. Fisher

Community Leader
Doris F. Fisher

Doris Fisher has served on the CPIC Board of Trustees since 1983. Her service to CPIC continues the work of her father, B.J. Feigenbaum, who, in 1974, became a founding trustee of CPIC’s predecessor organization. Mrs. Fisher, with her late husband Donald, co-founded the Gap, Inc, where she continues to serve as an honorary lifetime director of its board of trustees. Fisher is an involved and active community leader. She is a founder of the Children's Cancer Research Institute at California Pacific Medical Center, a member of the board of governors of the San Francisco Symphony, and a member of the board of trustees of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Fisher has been a major supporter to the public charter school program Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP). 

Fisher's support of CPIC over the years has been unwavering. In 2004, CPIC established the Doris Fisher Community Leadership Award, recognizing leaders who raise understanding of cancer and improve the quality of life for individuals living with the disease.

Fisher is a graduate of Stanford University. 

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Louisa Gloger

Co-Founder & Chief Financial Officer, Triple Step Toward the Cure
Louisa Gloger

Louisa Gloger has served on the CPIC Board of Trustees since 2011. She is the co-founder of Triple Step Toward the Cure, a nonprofit that raises awareness of triple negative breast cancer and provides education and support to the women and communities affected by this uncommon form of the disease. Diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer at age of 31, Gloger was alarmed that this type of breast cancer disproportionately affects younger women and minority women. She vowed to use her personal experience as a survivor to raise awareness and to empower women at risk for breast cancer. 

Gloger also has an art advisory practice in which she works with private clients to curate and manage museum-quality private collections. She is a graduate of Williams College.

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Marianne Jackson

3g Human Capital Consulting
Marianne Jackson

Marianne Jackson has served on the CPIC Board of Trustees since 2014. A human resource and communications executive, Jackson’s expertise includes organizational effectiveness, executive coaching, workforce optimization, strategic planning and culture shaping in the healthcare and technology industries. She is president of 3g Human Capital Consulting, a company she founded to assist organizations with improving competitiveness by linking business strategy to a targeted people strategy. Previously she served as chief learning officer at eBay and senior vice president of human resources, communications and community relations, at Blue Shield of California. She has held executive human resources positions at Palm Inc., Cisco Systems, SanDisk Corporation, Logitech, Silicon Graphics and Sun Microsystems.

Jackson speaks on such topics as human capital planning, culture shaping, corporate wellness and C-level succession planning. She also serves as a trustee for the Health Trust of Silicon Valley and on the advisory board for Saama Technologies. Her prior board positions include the Blue Shield Foundation and Catholic Charities.

Jackson holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and sociology from the University of California at Santa Barbara. She completed graduate courses in counseling psychology at the University of Santa Clara.

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Alan J. Lewis, Ph.D.

President and CEO, Diavacs, Inc.
Alan J. Lewis

Alan Lewis has served on the CPIC Board of Trustees since 2016. Lewis has led a number of large and small biopharmaceutical research organizations, including oncology organizations. He is president and CEO of Diavacs. Most recently, he was CEO of Medistem. In previous positions he held the position of chairman, president and CEO at cancer drug developer Ambit Biosciences. Prior to this role, he held the position of president and CEO at the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation following his role as president and CEO at stem cell company Novocell. Earlier in his career, Lewis served as CEO and a director of Signal Pharmaceuticals until its acquisition by Celgene. Lewis then was named president of Celgene's Signal Research Division, where he directed its integrated drug discovery program in oncology and inflammation. He spent the previous 15 years at the pharmaceutical company Wyeth-Ayerst, where he was vice president of research. Lewis also is on the board of directors for a number of companies, including BioMarin Pharmaceutical, where he chairs the science and technology committee.

He has contributed to advancing more than 20 molecules into clinical development and overseeing five investigational drugs that have reached the market; he has co-authored over 100 peer reviewed publications and is an inventor on several patents.

Lewis holds a bachelor of science from Southampton University and a Ph.D. from the University of Wales. He completed his postdoctoral training at Yale University.

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Judith A. Luce, M.D.

Professor Emeritus, University of California, San Francisco
Judith A. Luce

Judith Luce has served on CPIC's Board of Trustees since 1995. She is clinical professor emeritus at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) where she served as chairwoman of the Protocol Review Committee at its Comprehensive Cancer Center. She is also former director of oncology services at San Francisco General Hospital.

Luce graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz and earned her Doctor of Medicine at UCSF.

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Beverly S. Mitchell, M.D.

Director, Stanford Cancer Institute, & Professor of Medicine, Stanford University
Beverly S. Mitchell

Beverly Mitchell has served on the CPIC Board of Trustees since 2006. She is the director of the Stanford Cancer Institute and is the George E. Becker Professor of Medicine at Stanford University. Mitchell began her professional career in research in the department of medicine and pharmacology at the University of Michigan, where she was on the faculty for 16 years. She then led the molecular therapeutics program at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill's Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, where she also served as associate director for translational research and chief of the division of hematology/oncology. Mitchell has maintained an active research program relating to the development of new therapies for cancers of the blood. 

Mitchell has served as president of the American Society of Hematology, chair of the medical and scientific affairs committee, vice chair for medical and scientific affairs of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of America and is a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences. 

She graduated from Smith College and earned her doctor of medicine at Harvard University Medical School. 

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Hilary Newsom Callan

President, PlumpJack Management Group
Hilary Newsom Callan

Hilary Newsom Callan has served on the CPIC Board of Trustees since 2000. Newsom Callan is president of  PlumpJack, a hospitality management company that oversees 14 individual businesses including hotels, wineries, restaurants, retail stores and clubs. Newsom Callan collaborates with all department heads and oversees the brand identity, culture, marketing and public relations of the company's individual businesses as well as focusing on new business development. Newsom Callan has been highly instrumental in the concept and development process surrounding numerous PlumpJack entities. 

Passionate about philanthropy since childhood, she is a compassionate and committed fundraiser on behalf of several charitable organizations, including the Tahoe Fund and the Holy Family Day Home. In her support of CPIC, she and her husband Geoff Callan founded the annual PlumpJack/LINK Golf Classic in 2000.  Through their annual efforts, this event has raised more than $2.8 million for the fight against breast cancer.

Newsom Callan is a graduate of Georgetown University. 

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Pete Sittnick

Managing Partner, Waterbar/Epic Roasthouse
Pete Sittnick

Pete Sittnick has served on the CPIC Board of Trustees since 2013. He is the managing partner of Waterbar and EPIC Roasthouse, two of San Francisco’s most popular restaurants located on the Embarcadero waterfront. He has over 30 years experience in the hospitality industry, including a 12-year career with the Kimpton Group, where he helped grow their nationwide restaurant portfolio from four to 25.

Sittnick has taught, consulted and established scholarship programs for the hospitality school at City College and the University of San Francisco. He has been on the board of directors of the Golden Gate Restaurant Association since 2001 and currently serves as board president. Sittnick has been an avid supporter and friend to Glide Memorial Church.

Sittnick is a graduate of the University of Michigan.

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Thomas T. Thomas

Financial Consultant and Founder, Thomas T. Thomas Vineyards
Thomas T. Thomas

Thomas T. Thomas has served on the CPIC Board of Trustees since 2016. Thomas has over 25 years of experience as a financial executive with experience in developing financial plans, assessing/mitigating enterprise risks and building high performing teams. In his current role, he provides financial and risk management consulting to public and private companies. In addition, he is the founder of Thomas T Thomas Vineyards where local wineries produce wines from his vineyards. Previously, Thomas held the positions of interim chief executive officer, chief financial officer and chief operating officer at the Stupski Foundation. Prior to joining Stupski, Thomas spent twelve years at Genentech, Inc. in various financial roles including corporate treasurer. Thomas also held financial positions at Del Monte Foods and GE Capital Corporation.  

Thomas is a chartered financial analyst (CFA) and a mentor in the Ivy Exec Mentor Network. He has served on the boards of the San Francisco Security Analysts and Hospitality House. 

Thomas received his MBA from the University of Cincinnati, College of Business, where he was a graduate fellow, and he has a bachelor of music in voice performance from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.

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Louis S. Weller, Chair

Partner, Weller Partners LLP
Louis S. Weller

Lou Weller has served on the CPIC Board of Trustees since 2010 and assumed the position of chair in 2016. Weller is managing partner of  Weller Partners, LLP, focusing on tax planning for real estate transactions. He was previously a principal in Deloitte Tax, LLP, where he served as national director, real estate transaction planning and led Deloitte Tax’s like-kind exchange practice group. He is a frequent speaker in the fields of tax, business law and real estate and is author of many articles and a treatise relating to these subjects. 

Mr. Weller is an elected fellow of the American College of Tax Counsel. His civic and community activities have included membership on the board of directors of the World Affairs Council of Northern California and service on the Town of Tiburon Design Review Board and Planning Commission. 

Mr. Weller graduated from Yale University and earned joint J. D. and master’s of public policy degrees from the University of California, Berkeley.

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Kimberly A. Wright-Violich

Co-Founder & Managing Partner, Tideline Advisors
Kimberly A. Wright-Violich

Kim Wright-Violich has served on the CPIC Board of Trustees since 2011. She is managing partner of Tideline, and co-leads the firm’s strategy, operations, and client engagement work. Wright-Violich is also the acting president of Echidna Giving, a giving fund that is working to advance girls’ education in the developing world.

Prior to Tideline, Wright-Violich was the CEO of Schwab Charitable, a nonprofit corporation founded by Charles Schwab & Co. to provide charitable asset management and philanthropic services to investors. In her time as CEO, she oversaw Schwab Charitable’s growth from a start-up to become the second-largest donor advised fund in the United States.

A recognized influential voice in the industry, she is widely published and quoted, including in The Wall Street Journal, BusinessWeek, CNBC, Bloomberg, Investment News, Stanford Social Innovation Review, Chronicle of Philanthropy and Trusts & Estates Magazine. Wright-Violich has taught and lectured on impact investing and strategic philanthropy at Haas School of Business, the University of California, Berkeley and guest lectures on governance at Stanford Graduate School of Business. She currently serves on the board of directors of the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, and the Center of Social Sector Leadership at Haas Business School, University of California, Berkeley. 

Wright-Violich is a graduate of Stanford University. She completed the business school executive program at Stanford's Graduate School of Business, post-graduate work at the Mass Media Institute at Stanford, as well as coursework in governance at Harvard Business School.

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Jonathan W. Yu

Technology Services Consultant
Jonathan W. Yu

Jay Yu has served on CPIC's Board of Trustees since 2006. He was a cloud practice director for Computer Media Technologies (CMT). CMT provides cloud computing, IT infrastructure and managed services for businesses. Prior to joining CMT, Yu was the co-founder and president of Invisible IT, a company providing consulting and managed IT services for medium-sized businesses. His professional experience also includes his roles as director of worldwide technical support for Plumtree Software and as director of network operations for dNet and for Global Networking and Computing (GNAC). Yu has held a variety of systems administration, IT management and consulting roles with companies such as Microsoft, Align Technology, Synopsys, Adobe Systems, Xerox PARC, IBM, Covad, Lattice Semiconductor, and the Stanford Medical Center.

Yu is a graduate of Stanford University.

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