Who Is Lobular Breast Cancer Alliance

The Lobular Breast Cancer Alliance (LBCA) is a national organization with a network of health care professionals.

We are patient-volunteers and advocates, and breast cancer clinicians and researchers actively collaborating to increase knowledge of invasive lobular carcinoma (ILC), also known as lobular breast cancer,  and promote and fund ILC research. Learn more about LBCA on our Mission & Vision page and by reviewing our flyer.

LBCA is a project of Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs (SEE), a registered public charity, located at 23564 Calabasas Road, Unit 201, Calabasas, CA 91302

LBCA Leadership & Staff

Laurie Hutcheson, Executive Director

Laurie Hutcheson, MS, Executive Director, has more than 40 years of 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, MPH, MSW, LCSW, Chief Operating Officer and Volunteer Coordinator, has 15 years of experience working in the fields of health policy and public health. She has a dual interest in direct service and public policy, which led her to begin her career training in social work and public health. Throughout her career in policy, Mason has worked in positions focused on bringing stakeholder voices to the table. In her work with volunteers and as COO, Mason assists LBCA in expanding its reach as a powerful advocacy organization.

Colleen Fitzwater, Communications Director of LBCA

Colleen Fitzwater, MA, Communications Director, is an accomplished executive with more than 25 years of experience in the nonprofit and broadcast industries. She has administered 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. Colleen has a BA in Communication from Temple University and an MA in Strategic Communication from LaSalle University. 

Joe Hutcheson, General Counsel

Joe Hutcheson, JD, MBA, General Counsel on a volunteer basis, has more than 35 years of legal experience in corporate, M&A and investment transactions, new venture startups, 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 startup, 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 BA in Economics from Williams College, during which time he managed paramedical projects in Latin America; his MBA from New York University with a concentration in finance; and his JD from Fordham University, where he was Managing Editor of the Fordham Law Review. He has advised and served on corporate and nonprofit boards.

Julia Levine

Julia Katherine Levine, our Lead Research Advocate and Publications Curator, is a metastatic breast cancer survivor and a founding member of LBCA. She is committed to advocating, researching, and educating patients, clinicians, and others about lobular breast cancer and in particular, metastatic lobular breast cancer. She has created and presented an educational webinar on metastatic ILC for the Komen Metastatic Breast Cancer conferences. More…

Janice Axelrod LBCA

Janice Axelrod, our Research and Communication Officer, is a retired physician gynecologic oncologist, who devoted her professional life to treating women with gynecologic malignancies and was a member and principle investigator of the Gynecology Oncology Group, a research group for gynecologic malignancies. Now retired and a lobular breast cancer survivor, she is focused on breast cancer research advocacy. Her interests include research, patient education, and reaching out to clinicians about lobular breast cancer. More …

LBCA Scientific Advisory Board

Otto Metzger, MD

Otto Metzger, MD, LBCA Scientific Advisory Board ChairBreast Oncology Center at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center, is a clinical investigator focused on the development of therapies for breast cancer treatment. His principal research effort is focused on investigating two subtypes of breast cancer: invasive lobular carcinoma (ILC) and HER2+ breast cancer. He also maintains an active clinical practice in the Breast Oncology Center at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center. More …

Dr. Steffi Oesterreich

Steffi Oesterreich, PhD – LBCA Scientific Advisory Board Founder and Past Chair, 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 Magee Womens Research Institute, is a researcher with an interest in endocrine resistance in breast cancer, with a focus on invasive lobular breast cancer. She is passionate about increased understanding of development and progression of ILC, and enjoys working in multidisciplinary teams, along with patient advocates, with the ultimate goal to decrease suffering from this disease.  More …

Davidson_Nancy_Photo Preferred-Blue.LARGE

Nancy E. Davidson, MD, 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 is a world-renowned breast cancer researcher. Dr. Davidson has published key findings on the role of hormones, particularly estrogen, on gene expression and cell growth in breast cancer. More …

Patrick W.B. Derksen, PhD

Patrick W.B. Derksen, PhD, University Medical Center Utrecht, Netherlands, Department of Pathology, is a molecular cancer biologist focused 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

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

Maxine Jochelson MD

Maxine Jochelson, MD, Director of Imaging at the Evelyn Lauder Breast and Imaging Center at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and Attending Radiologist and Clinical Professor of Radiology at Cornell Weill Medical School, is a graduate of New York Medical College, and completed her medical internship and radiology residency at Los Angeles County Hospital USC Medical Center. She did a clinical and research fellowship in Oncologic Radiology at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham and Women’s Hospital at Harvarad Medical School. More … 

Megan Kruse MD

Megan Kruse, MD, Breast Medical Oncologist at the Taussig Cancer Institute of Cleveland Clinic, received her medical degree from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, and completed her residency in Internal Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. She then completed a hematology and medical oncology fellowship at Cleveland Clinic where she served as Chief Fellow and was appointed as Associate Staff in 2017. Her main area of clinical investigation is optimization of care for patients with lobular breast cancer with a special focus on the role of the immune microenvironment. She is a member of the National Cancer Institute Breast Immuno-Oncology (BIO) Task Force, NRG Oncology Breast Cancer Committee, NRG Oncology Translational Research Committee and NSABP Foundation Core Research Committee. She also has an interest in medical education and serves as the Associate Program Director of the Hematology/Oncology Fellowship at Cleveland Clinic.

Christopher I. Li, MD, PhD

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

Rita Mukhtar, MD

Rita Mukhtar, MD, Assistant Professor of Clinical Surgery at the University of California, San Francisco, is a fellowship trained breast surgical oncologist with a research focus on ILC. 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. More … 

Jorge S. Reis–Filho, MD PhD FRCPath

Jorge SReisFilhoMD, PhD, FRCPath, Chief, Experimental Pathology, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, 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 …

Rebecca Riggins PHD

Rebecca B. RigginsPhD, Associate Professor of Oncology and Associate Director of Education and Training, Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center (LCCC), received a B.A. in Biochemistry from Hood College, and a PhD in Microbiology from the University of Virginia. Following postdoctoral fellowship training in Tumor Biology at Georgetown University, she joined the Department of Oncology at Georgetown University Medical Center’s LCCC, where she is an Associate Professor and member of the Breast Cancer Research Program.

Matthew J. Sikora, PhD

Matthew J. Sikora, PhD, Assistant Professor of Pathology at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, focuses his ILC research 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 people with ILC. More …

Dr. Peter Simpson

Peter Simpson, PhD, Associate Professor at University of Queensland Centre for Clinical Research (UQCCR), holds a joint teaching and research position where he is Head of the Cancer Theme and is a Research Group Leader at UQCCR. He is a Senior Lecturer in the Discipline of Pathology, where he teaches on the Faculty of Medicine MD Program. Dr Peter Simpson holds a BSc Honours degree and a PhD in Molecular Biology from the University of Liverpool in the UK.  More …

Christos Sotiriou, MD, PhD

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) leads a very successful research group that has contributed seminal and practice-changing results in breast cancer translational research.  More …

Dr. Gary Ulaner in front of screening images

Gary A. Ulaner, MD, PhD, Chair of Molecular Imaging and Therapy at Hoag Family Cancer Institute, is dual board-certified in radiology and nuclear medicine, and focuses on FDG PET/CT and novel radiotracer development for patients with breast cancer. Dr. Ulaner is the principle investigator of multiple prospective clinical trials of novel PET radiotracers for people with breast cancer. More … 

LBCA Founding Advocates

Leigh Pate, LBCA Founder

Leigh Pate, LBCA Founder (@LPseattle on Twitter), is a public affairs consultant, communications specialist, writer, trained cancer research advocate, and two-time cancer patient. She attended the first international Lobular Breast Cancer symposium in 2016, and led the formation and growth of the LBCA 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

Barbara Neilsen, Ohio. When she 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. Barbara is working to raise awareness and advocate for advances in detection and treatment more appropriate to this disease.

Screen Shot 2017-11-13 at 8.46.34 AM

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

Meg Kotler

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

Diane Mapes

Diane Mapes, Seattle, WA. She is a journalist and patient advocate working at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. She writes about research and the patient experience in the realm of prevention/risk reduction, health disparities, health economics, early detection/screening, and survivorship. Diane blogs and tweets as @double_whammied.

Elizabeth Viggiano

Elizabeth Viggiano, OR. She was diagnosed with de novo stage 4 metastatic lobular breast cancer, despite years of normal mammograms. Elizabeth is devoted to working with researchers and clinicians to improve detection and treatment of lobular breast cancer. LBCA is saddened to share the news that our friend and fierce ILC research advocate passed away on August 31, 2021. Read her tribute

Lori Petitti

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

Scroll to Top

Join Us

Subscribe for the Latest News & Updates​

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.