BREAST CANCER RESEARCH CHAIR IN ONCOLOGY
Established in 1992 by patients and friends of Johns Hopkins, led by Harriet Legum

HARRIET LEGUM translated her personal experience with cancer into an opportunity to help others. After successful treatment, she took the helm of a campaign to raise significant funding for breast cancer research at Hopkins. Mrs. Legum, who herself provided generous support, was joined by other donors, including her mother-in-law, NAOMI HENDLER LEGUM, and her husband, JEFFREY LEGUM, to endow the Breast Cancer Research Chair, as well as having endowed a breast cancer research fellowship. Mrs. Legum also serves on the board of the Kennedy Krieger Institute, the Hopkins Medicine Board of Advisors, and the Wilmer and Kimmel advisory councils. Co-founder and co-chair of "A Woman's Journey," an educational program featuring Hopkins faculty, Mrs. Legum is the recipient of the American Cancer Society's Award of Hope. She has held volunteer leadership positions at the Associated Jewish Charities, the Susan G. Komen Foundation, the Park School, and the Baltimore Museum of Art. The Neurological Care Unit, for which the Legums have chosen to establish a professorship at Johns Hopkins, was one of the first in the world to apply contemporary approaches for maintaining and protecting the brain following acute severe injuries. To further this approach, the professorship supports research into the application of basic neurobiologic approaches and interventional treatments to acute brain illness.

 

Mr. Legum is president and chief executive officer of the Park Circle Motor Company, a holding company. Previously he served as president and chief executive officer of Legum Chevrolet/Nissan and the Westminster Motor Company. He is a member of the board of the Baltimore Museum of Art, serves on the board of Johns Hopkins Medicine, and is a member of the Wilmer Advisory Council. Mr. Legum's first association with Hopkins was as a lay member of the Institutional Review Board for Human Subjects Research at the Hopkins Bayview Medical Center. He has served as treasurer of the Park School, vice president of the Associated Placement Bureau, and a trustee of both the Associated Jewish Charities of Baltimore and the Baltimore Hebrew Congregation.

 

"I don't know what tomorrow will bring, but I do know that I have done something very important for my daughter--and for all women--and this gives me the strength to cope with uncertainty."
Harriet Legum

 

VERED STEARNS, who holds the Breast Cancer Research Chair in Oncology, joined the Johns Hopkins faculty in 2002 and is best known for her ground-breaking work on the pharmacogenetics of tamoxifen and the use of biomarkers to implement new interventions for breast cancer treatment and prevention. Her research focuses on agents that target epigenetic modifications in breast cancer and gene methylation as a marker of breast cancer risk and a target for prevention. Dr. Stearns is also internationally recognized for her research in improving therapeutic options for women who suffer vasomotor symptoms and in elucidating the role of pharmacogenetics and tamoxifen-related outcomes.

At the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center, Dr. Stearns leads an active research team. She was instrumental in building the multidisciplinary translational research team and the infrastructure for innovative early clinical trials. She is also the Johns Hopkins co-leader of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation’s Clinical Research Fellowship for medical students. In her capacity as attending physician on the inpatient service and for outpatient consultations, Dr. Stearns has earned a reputation as an outstanding clinician.

Dr. Stearns is a translational scientist who is well-regarded by her peers nationally and internationally and a highly respected educator. Her work has been supported by the prestigious Damon Runyon Clinical Investigator Award, the American Society of Clinical Oncology Advanced Clinical Investigator Award, grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Cancer Institute (NCI), and from several foundations.

Originally from Israel, Professor Stearns started a seven-year medical school program at Tel-Aviv University in 1985 through an academic reserve program. She transferred to the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Camden, New Jersey, as a third year medical student where she was awarded her medical degree in 1992. She completed her internal medicine residency and medical oncology fellowship training at the Georgetown University School of Medicine where she developed an interest in translational breast cancer research. At Georgetown, Dr. Stearns trained under some of the most influential leaders in translational breast cancer research and became one of the first investigators in the world to perform biomarker studies within the pre-surgical setting.