National nonprofit Colorectal Cancer Alliance (Alliance) has welcomed Ronit Yarden, Ph.D., as its director of medical affairs. The addition of Yarden strengthens the organization’s research, outreach and patient and family support programs by ensuring alignment to the latest scientific findings across all initiatives and communications.
With more than 20 years of experience in cancer research and education, Yarden comes to the Alliance from Georgetown University, where she was a professor and member of the university’s Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center. Yarden’s research focused on hereditary breast cancer and understanding how cancer cells respond to environmental and metabolic challenges, with the goal of developing strategies for prevention and improved cancer treatments.
“Research is a rewarding endeavour, with years of hard work contributing to significant findings, but I felt the time had come to be more active and ingrained within the cancer community,” Yarden said. “My family has struggled with cancer, including colorectal cancer, so I’m looking forward to helping patients, promoting awareness and advancing science that can end this disease.”
Yarden will take an active role in the further development of the Alliance’s research funding initiatives. The Alliance is committed to investing $10 million in colorectal cancer research by 2021, including $3 million in young-onset research specifically. Presently the Alliance is accepting research funding proposals that target young-onset colorectal cancer, rectal cancer, and prevention.
In addition, Yarden will be the Alliance’s key liaison with its medical and scientific advisory board, which is comprised of medical professionals throughout the country who provide insight on a wide range of issues; take a lead role in patient education campaigns that promote prevention and screening; and represent the Alliance on industry committees.
“Dr. Yarden’s hire underlines the Alliance’s commitment to accuracy, research, evidence-based science, expertise and providing the best information to our nation of allies, while her distinguished tenure as a researcher and professor is invaluable to us as we strive to accomplish our mission—ending colorectal cancer within our lifetime,” said Michael Sapienza, CEO of the Colorectal Cancer Alliance.
Yarden recently graduated from the Executive Master in Health System Administration program at Georgetown University, where she also earned a Ph.D. in biochemical/molecular/cellular biology. She holds a master’s degree in immunology from Tel Aviv University.
Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer diagnosed in the United States and the second-leading cause of cancer deaths. The American Cancer Society estimates more than 140,000 people will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer this year, and 50,000 will succumb to the disease. Colorectal cancer is among the most preventable forms of cancer with appropriate screening and is highly treatable if caught early.
About the Colorectal Cancer Alliance
The Colorectal Cancer Alliance is a national nonprofit committed to ending colorectal cancer. Working with our nation of passionate allies, we diligently support the needs of patients and families, caregivers, and survivors; eagerly raise awareness of preventative screening; and continually strive to fund critical research. As allies in the struggle, we are fiercely determined to end colorectal cancer within our lifetime. For more information, please visit ccalliance.org.
Steven Bushong, senior manager of strategic communications