The Lobular Breast Cancer Alliance (LBCA) is a national organization with a network of health care professionals, patient-volunteers and advocates, and breast cancer clinicians and researchers actively collaborating to increase knowledge of lobular breast disease and promote and fund lobular breast cancer research.  Learn more about LBCA.

LBCA’s mission is:

to make all who are touched by ILC aware of its unique characteristics and the critical need for more ILC research; to be the go-to source for information on ILC studies, clinical trials and educational tools; to foster partnerships among patients, scientists, clinicians, and breast cancer organizations to increase dialogue about ILC and research advocacy; and to fund vital ILC research.

LBCA is a project of Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs, a registered public charity.

LBCA c/o SEE 23564 Calabasas Road, Unit 201  Calabasas, CA 91302 


Laurie Hutcheson, Executive Director

Laurie Hutcheson, MS, MA, Executive Director Laurie has over 40 years’ experience in health care delivery system development and management including several years in executive roles in Massachusetts health and human services agencies, behavioral health provider organizations, and as a leader and independent consultant in both her own, and other national health care consulting firms. More …

Mason Mitchell-Daniels, Deputy Director

Mason Mitchell-Daniels, M.P.H., M.S.W., L.C.S.W, Chief Operating Officer and Volunteer Coordinator Mason has 15 years of experience working in health policy and public health arenas. She has always had an interest in direct service (social work) and policy (public health), which led her to pursue dual training in these areas. Throughout her career in policy and program design she has worked in positions which focused on bringing stakeholder voices to the table. Mason is excited to join LBCA as both the Volunteer Coordinator, where she will work directly with LBCA’s passionate and committed volunteers and as the Chief Operating Officer, where she will assist LBCA to expand it’s reach as a powerful advocacy organization.

Colleen Fitzwater, Communications Director of LBCA

Colleen Fitzwater, Communications Director Colleen is an accomplished executive with more than 25 years of experience in the non-profit and broadcast industries. She has overseen a spectrum of communication and marketing initiatives in the cancer field including integrated communication and marketing planning and implementation for both mission and income generating programs. She has extensive knowledge of brand development and reputation management, executive and internal communications, change and crisis communications, content development, media relations, social media, and customer experience. Her work has received recognition not only from communication peers such as PRSA and IABC, but also medical associations such as the ACG. A graduate of Temple University, Colleen is currently working toward her M.A. in Strategic Communication from La Salle University.

Joe Hutcheson, General Counsel

Joe Hutcheson, General Counsel on a volunteer basis, has over 35 years of legal experience in corporate, M&A and investment transactions, new venture start-ups, enterprise licensing and joint venture arrangements. He also has worked in executive management and nonprofit positions. He has served as Deputy General Counsel, Americas, for Dassault Systèmes, a publicly traded, global software company based in France, as CEO of a cloud system start-up, as general counsel of a privately held software company, as principal at a corporate law firm in Boston and as a lending officer in New York City. He received his B.A degree in Economics from Williams College, during which time he managed paramedical projects in Latin America, his M.B.A. degree from New York University with a concentration in finance and his J.D. from Fordham University, where he was Managing Editor of the Fordham Law Review. He has advised and served on several corporate and nonprofit boards.

Julia Levine, our Research and Publications Curator, is a metastatic breast cancer survivor and a research advocate committed to raising awareness of metastatic lobular breast cancer. I am most interested in research and research advocacy to help researchers and organizations that study metastatic and lobular breast cancer.

Janice Axelrod, our Research and Communication Officer, is a physician who devoted her life to treating women with gynecologic malignancies.  Now I am a retired oncologist, a breast cancer survivor devoting my life to breast cancer advocacy.

LBCA Scientific Advisory Board

Steffi Oesterreich, PhD – LBCA Scientific Advisory Board Founder and Chair:  Dr Oesterreich is a Professor and Vice-Chair of Pharmacology at the University of Pittsburgh, Co-Leader of the Cancer Biology Program at the UPMC Hillman Cancer Center, and Co-Director Womens Research Institute. Her research interest is endocrine resistance in breast cancer, with a focus on invasive lobular breast cancer (ILC). She is passionate about increased understanding of development and progression of ILC, and enjoys working in multi-disciplinary teams, along with patient advocates, with the ultimate goal to decrease suffering from this disease.

Nancy E. Davidson, MD  Dr. Davidson is a world-renowned breast cancer researcher who serves as Senior Vice President and Director of the Clinical Research Division at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, President and Executive Director of the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, and Head of the Division of Oncology at the University of Washington.  More …

Patrick W.B. Derksen, PhD   University Medical Center Utrecht, Netherlands  Department of Pathology

Dr. Derksen is a molecular cancer biologist focussed on cell adhesion receptors and how they control invasive breast cancer. During his postdoctoral research he was the first to demonstrate a causal link between loss of adhesion between ductal breast cells and the development of ILC. He has a strong track-record in mouse and human models of metastatic breast cancer. Based on these tools, his group is working hard to better understand the biochemical wiring of lobular cancer cells to develop effective targeted interventions.

Rachel C. Jankowitz, MD Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine in the Division of Hematology/Oncology at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and Director of the Rena Rowan Breast Center at the Penn Abramson Cancer Center

My clinical practice is focused on care of patients with breast cancer. My research has centered around invasive lobular breast cancer (ILC), endocrine resistance in hormone receptor positive breast cancer, and breast cancer clinical trials. I’ve served as PI and/or co-investigator for many breast cancer clinical trials, and I am inactive investigator in the Translational Breast Cancer Research Consortium (TBCRC). I am particularly interested in biomarker development and treatment response in patients with ILC.

Christopher I. Li, MD, PhD, Program Head and Full Member Translational Research Program, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

Dr. Li is a cancer epidemiologist at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center with research projects spanning cancer early detection/screening, etiology, and survivorship. He has significant expertise in cancer epidemiology and substantial experience in the design, leadership, and completion of multidisciplinary studies of cancer. More …

Otto Metzger, MD, Breast Oncology Center at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center

I am a clinical investigator focused on the development of therapies for breast cancer treatment. My principal research effort is focused on investigating two subtypes of breast cancer: invasive lobular carcinoma (ILC) and HER2+ breast cancer. I also maintain an active clinical practice in the Breast Oncology Center at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center.  More …

Rita Mukhtar, MD Assistant Professor of Clinical Surgery at the University of California, San Francisco

Rita Mukhtar, MD is a fellowship trained breast surgical oncologist with a research focus on invasive lobular carcinoma of the breast.  Her work on surgical outcomes in ILC and novel imaging tools for ILC is currently supported by the American Cancer Society.  She trained under Dr. Laura Esserman, during which time she studied the role of inflammatory cells in breast cancer.  She maintains a busy clinical practice in breast surgery and acute care surgery. Awards.

Jorge S. ReisFilho, MD PhD FRCPath, Chief, Experimental Pathology, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

Physician-scientist Jorge Reis-Filho is a surgical pathologist.  His research interests are in the development of a predictive breast cancer classification system based on the oncogenic drivers of special histologic types of breast and salivary gland cancers, and in the understanding of the causes and impact of intra-tumor genetic heterogeneity in cancers.  More …

Matthew J. Sikora, PhD, Assistant Professor of Pathology at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

Dr. Sikora’s research on invasive lobular carcinoma (ILC) focuses on the unique biology of the estrogen receptor (ER) in ILC, working to define how ER drives ILC growth, and to understand the pharmacology of estrogens and anti-estrogens in ILC. The mission of the Sikora Lab is to develop new treatment strategies to stop anti-estrogen resistance in ILC, while working with advocates to focus on the priorities of patients with ILC. More …

Christos Sotiriou, MD, PhD, Head of the J.C. Heuson Breast Cancer Translational Research Laboratory, Institut Jules Bordet, Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), Brussels, Belgium; Head of Clinic at the Medical Oncology Department, Institut Jules Bordet; Research Director (tenured position) at the Belgian Fund for Scientific Research – FNRS (October 2017)  More …

Gary A. Ulaner, MD, PhD,  Chair of Molecular Imaging and Therapy at Hoag Family Cancer Institute

Dr. Gary A. Ulaner is a dual board-certified radiologist and nuclear medicine, and focuses on FDG PET/CT and novel radiotracer development for patients with breast cancer. More …

 LBCA Research Advocates

Leigh Pate, LBCA Founder Leigh is a public affairs consultant, communications specialist, a writer, a trained cancer research advocate and a two-time cancer patient.   She attended the first international Lobular Breast Cancer symposium in 2016, and led the formation and growth of the Lobular Breast Cancer Alliance as its coordinator and director until Spring 2020.  She remains active in LBCA and committed to LBCA’s growth and success.   Awards.  Message from the Founder. More …

Barbara Neilsen, OH: When I was diagnosed in 2017, there was still little awareness of lobular breast cancer as a disease that is distinct from the other types of breast cancer. This remains true in the medical and patient communities. I am working to raise awareness and advocate for advances in detection and treatment more appropriate to this disease.

Flora Migyanka, Ann Arbor MI: I am an account executive with a global oncology biotech company, a yoga teacher and patient advocate for the University of Michigan.   I am committed to raising awareness to researchers and clinicians about ILC.

Meg Kotler, Kensington MD:   I am a registered nurse with a specialty in public health.  As a two time breast cancer survivor, I am committed to advocacy and patient education about this disease.

Diane Mapes, Seattle WA: I’m a journalist and patient advocate working at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. I write about research and the patient experience in the realm of prevention/risk reduction; health disparities; health economics; early detection/screening and survivorship. I blog and tweet as @double_whammied.

Elizabeth Viggiano, OR: I was diagnosed with de novo stage 4 metastatic lobular breast cancer, despite years of normal mammograms. I am devoted to working with researchers and clinicians to improve detection and treatment of lobular breast cancer.

Lori Petitti, Los Angeles, CA: I am a founding member of LBCA and a former television and documentary producer. My interests are research advocacy, mentoring newly diagnosed patients and raising awareness on the unique aspects of lobular breast cancer.