Cedars-Sinai Physician Nominated by President Obama to National Cancer Advisory Board

Beth Y. Karlan, MD, director of the Women’s Cancer Program at Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute, to serve six-year term on elite policy-making panel


Los Angeles - Dec. 12, 2012Beth Y. Karlan, MD, director of the Women’s Cancer Program at the Cedars-Sinai Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute, was appointed by President Barack Obama to the National Cancer Advisory Board, a committee that advises the U.S. National Cancer Institute.

She is one of six new appointees joining the18-member panel, which, with the President’s Cancer Panel, are the federal advisory bodies whose members are appointed by the president. The board counsels the secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the NCI director and the president on issues related to the institute's activities, including reviewing and recommending grants and cooperative agreements.

“In addition to being a world-renowned scientist and surgeon, Dr. Karlan has been an instrumental voice advocating for greater public awareness, education and resources devoted to fighting cancer and saving lives,” said Steven Piantadosi, MD, PhD, director of the Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute and the Phase One Foundation Chair. “Her impressive knowledge and dedication will be an asset to the National Cancer Advisory Board, and we congratulate her for this well-deserved honor.”

Karlan serves as director of the division of gynecologic oncology in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, director of the Gilda Radner Hereditary Cancer Program and the Board of Governors Chair in Gynecologic Oncology. She has written more than 200 peer-reviewed articles, and serves as editor-in-chief of Gynecologic Oncology. As president of the Society of Gynecologic Oncologists, she testified before Congress in support of the Gynecologic Cancer Education and Awareness Act of 2005, a milestone law providing millions of dollars to better inform the public about gynecologic cancers.

Her research, which has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, the American Cancer Society and the Department of Defense, focuses on discovery of ovarian cancer specific biomarkers to aid in early detection and as targets for molecular therapies, as well as studies on inherited cancer susceptibility especially the  clinical impact of mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes in ovarian cancer.

“Dr. Karlan has been a leader in the charge to defeat women’s cancers, and to save women’s lives through increased education and awareness,” said Sarah Kilpatrick, MD, PhD, chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Cedars-Sinai and Helping Hand of Los Angeles Chair in Obstetrics and Gynecology. “Her appointment reinforces Cedars-Sinai’s role as an outstanding institution devoted to clinical care and research that benefits women.”

President Obama announced his selections for the board late last week.

“I am grateful these accomplished men and women have agreed to join this Administration, and I’m confident they will serve ably in these important roles. I look forward to working with them in the coming months and years,” the president said in a White House statement.