LUNGevity celebrates the women scientists whose passion, commitment, and research breakthroughs are making history in how we understand, detect, and treat lung cancer.

Many of the advances in lung cancer research are due to breakthroughs made by women lung cancer pioneers. LUNGevity is proud to highlight four extraordinary women who serve on our Scientific Advisory Board and are making history in the field of lung cancer.


Denise Aberle, MD


Dr. Aberle, professor and vice chair of research in radiology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, served as the national principal investigator on the landmark National Lung Screening Trial, which proved a 20% reduction in lung cancer mortality for high-risk individuals who received low-dose CT scans. The study validated this potentially lifesaving early detection approach for people at risk for lung cancer, leading to implementation and insurance coverage for this valuable tool. Read more.


Julie Brahmer, MD


Dr. Brahmer, thoracic cancer director at Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center and associate professor of oncology at Johns Hopkins, is an international thought leader in immunotherapy - harnessing the body’s own immune system to fight cancer cells. She was instrumental in the recent FDA approval of an immunology drug for patients with squamous cell lung cancer, a game-changer for a population with few treatment options. Read more.


Lecia V. Sequist, MD, MPH


Dr. Sequist, associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and attending oncologist at Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center – Center for Thoracic Cancer, develops and implements lung cancer clinical trials while also treating patients. In a recent breakthrough, she found that some lung cancer tumors change their underlying type after treatment. Dr. Sequist is studying drug-resistant lung cancers, performing repeat biopsies to study ongoing changes in tumors. Read more.


Margaret R. Spitz, MD, MPH


Dr. Spitz, professor at the Dan L. Duncan Cancer Center at Baylor College of Medicine, is a world-renowned epidemiologist whose expertise runs from age-dependent incidence rates of lung cancer to the effects of environmental and genetic factors. Dr. Spitz developed a predictive risk model to identify genetic and non-genetic risk factors so that earlier diagnosis is possible, when the cancer is the most treatable. Read more.

“Today’s extraordinary lung cancer innovations and breakthroughs stand on the shoulders of these brilliant, hardworking women scientists who joined the field when there were very few promising options for patients with lung cancer. These pioneers built and fueled the momentum we are experiencing now in the field of lung cancer research and have helped lung cancer survivors live longer and better lives,” said Andrea Ferris, president and chairman of LUNGevity Foundation.