Conquering aggressive tumors and helping patients survive and live well is my life's work. I have devoted my career in science to understand the reasons why tumors become very aggressive and to developing new strategies to cure breast cancer everywhere in the world. -Sofia D. Merajver
Tumors vary in their ability to spread to organs through a phenomenon called metastasis. The Merajver Breast Cancer Research Program deconstructs the metastasis process in order to find new cures for aggressive cancers. In the clinic, Dr. Merajver and her team put science into practice every day by helping women at high risk for breast cancer find ways to deal with the risk. We do this by helping whole families understand how to manage and decrease their risk of cancer and how to modify lifestyle factors to help keep cancer away. Dr. Merajver also treats women with the most aggressive types of cancer, such as inflammatory breast cancer, triple-negative breast cancer, cancer in very young women, pregnancy-associated breast cancer, BRCA1/2-associated cancers, and others. We offer all of the hope that science can provide, wielded by compassionate hands and brains. We do not turn anyone away nor do we think any case is hopeless before we start: there is always something we can offer by fighting cancer and rooting for life with the patient and the family. Click here to watch a testimonial from one of Dr. Meravjer's patients.
Dr. Merajver is Scientific Director of the Breast Cancer Program and Director of the Breast and Ovarian Cancer Risk Evaluation Program at the UM Comprehensive Cancer Center. She is also Professor of Internal Medicine and Epidemiology.
Dr. Merajver's research laboratory is devoted to understanding the molecular and metabolic regulators of very aggressive breast cancer types. The primary areas of focus are systems biology, mathematical oncology, biophysics, cell biology, genetics, and drug development. She works in concert both in the lab and in the clinic, making the lab advances immediately available, through novel interventions and clinical trials, to her patients.
Breast cancer kills women everywhere and makes thousands of children orphans every year in the world. We cannot turn our backs on those who have little hope of finding help for their disease because they are poor or disadvantaged in society. Dr. Merajver also applies her extensive education and experience in Medicine, Physics, Public Health, and Systems Biology to help build and strengthen health programs at the University of Michigan, at the UM Cancer Center and at many collaborating institutions in the Middle East, North Africa, Ghana, Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America. She has worked with colleagues on strengthening cancer programs in Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco, Ecuador, Ghana, US, and Germany. The goal of her global cancer work is to work closely with partners in teams to create structures and health care delivery models to prevent cancer, diagnose it early and efficiently, and treat the disease and palliate symptoms in the most effective resource-appropriate manner. An important goal is to save lives and improve quality of life through prevention and early detection by working in teams. An important distinguishing philosophy of Dr. Merajver's work is her belief in the power of student teams from the partner institutions and from the US working together to sustain the gains achieved everywhere in the world.
In May 2014, Sepideh received a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation-funded Junior Research Fellowship at the Harvard School of Public Health. As a fellow, she will be working with a multi-disciplinary research team to 1) investigate global dietary intakes and patterns 2) conduct systematic reviews and meta-analyses to evaluate the effectiveness of different health policies implemented worldwide and 3) perform cost-effectiveness analyses of the health policies. The purpose of the research is to inform policy decisions regarding nutrition and dietary-diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and hypertension. The research team is working with the Ministries of Health of eight specific countries to implement interventions and health policies that based on the results of this project. The fellowship's duration is two to three years and may include receiving a MS degree in Epidemiology or Global Health and Population at Harvard.