February 3, 2020

Supporting Better Education and Understanding of Cancers Affecting Women

A remarkable gift from the Genetic Disease Foundation, along with Jim and Elisa Ross, prepares future generations of physicians to become leaders in the field of cancer, genetics, and breast health.

Dr. Mark Pearlman, Dr. Dee Fenner, Jim Ross, Elisa Ross, and Dr. Jacqueline Jeruss.
Dr. Mark Pearlman, Dr. Dee Fenner, Jim Ross, Elisa Ross, and Dr. Jacqueline Jeruss.

The Genetic Disease Foundation, along with Elisa and Jim Ross, endowed the Michigan Medicine Cancer Genetics and Breast Health (CGBH) Fellowship program with a $100,000 gift, creating the Genetic Disease Foundation Fund for Research, Awareness, and Testing.

The CGBH Fellowship is a unique, one-year advanced training program designed to provide fellows with the multi-disciplinary experience to train as an expert and consultant in managing most aspects of breast and gynecological cancer genetic mutations, as well as breast health. The fellowship is supervised by Mark Pearlman, M.D., Vice Chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and S. Jan Behrman Professor of Reproductive Medicine.

Women with mutations in certain genes, like the BRCA gene, are at a greater risk of developing breast and ovarian cancers at a younger age than the rest of the population. The Michigan Medicine CGBH fellowship emphasizes the importance of testing and screenings for women with higher likelihoods of genetic mutations and predispositions to breast, ovarian, and other cancers.

“This fellowship is one of the only programs in the country that focuses on a cross-disciplinary approach to include gynecological, breast health, genetics, and surgery,” said Elisa and Jim Ross. “It’s so impactful for these fellows to receive this specialized training and to be able to implement this program in other parts of the country.”

Graduates of the CGBH fellowship program have gone on to join other academic health systems across the country, serving both as experts in cancer genetics and educators of other trainees entering this important area of women’s health care. This generous gift from the Ross family and the Genetic Disease Foundation will ensure that future generations of physicians will have the opportunity to receive this specialized training.

“Elisa and Jim Ross’ gift has given me an opportunity to not only care for women with cancer genetic diseases, but has allowed us to train others who can make a big difference, not just in Michigan, but around the country,” Dr. Pearlman said.

Learn more about the Cancer Genetics and Breast Health Fellowship and please consider making a gift to support the program.