The Sontag Foundation Appoints Four New Members To Join Scientific Advisory Board

5/14/2020:  The Sontag Foundation, one of the largest funders of brain tumor research in the United States, announces the appointment of four leading experts to its Scientific Advisory Board: Dr. Suzanne Baker, Dr. Bradley Bernstein, Dr. Timothy Chan, and Dr. Mark Johnson.  

“We are thrilled to add these four key appointments to our Scientific Advisory Board and look forward to their contributions,” said Rick Sontag, President and Founder of The Sontag Foundation. ”It is particularly exciting as this is the first time we are adding former Sontag Foundation Distinguished Scientist Award recipients to our Scientific Advisory Board.”

Suzanne Baker, PhD, is a Member of the St. Jude Children’s Hospital Faculty, Director, Brain Tumor Research Division, Associate Director, Basic Research, Comprehensive Cancer Center, Co-Leader, Neurobiology & Brain Tumor Program, and Endowed Chair in Brain Tumor Research. She received her Bachelors of Science from Miami University and her PhD in Molecular Biology and Human Genetic from Johns Hopkins University. Her lab is focused on understanding the underlying molecular, cellular and genetic mechanisms driving high-grade gliomas, including diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG) in children.

Bradley Bernstein, MD, PhD, is the Bernard and Mildred Kayden Endowed Research Institute Chair and American Cancer Society Research Professor at Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Bernstein is an institute member at the Broad Institute and a professor in the Department of Pathology at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. He co-directs the Broad’s Epigenomics Program and interacts extensively with the Cell Circuits Program, the Cancer Program, and the Klarman Cell Observatory. Dr. Bernstein received his B.S. from Yale University in physics and his MD and PhD from the University of Washington School of Medicine. After receiving his MD and PhD, Dr. Bernstein completed a residency in clinical pathology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He joined the faculty of Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School in 2005.

Timothy A. Chan, MD, PhD, is a 2010 Sontag Foundation Distinguished Scientist Award recipient. Dr. Chan is the Director of the Center for Immunotherapy and Precision Immuno-Oncology at the Cleveland Clinic. He is on the leadership team of the National Center for Regenerative Medicine of Case Western Reserve University and on staff in the Genomic Medicine Institute of the Lerner Research Institute and the Department of Radiation Oncology of the Taussig Cancer Institute. Dr. Chan is an internationally recognized expert in precision immuno-oncology and a pioneer in using genomics to determine which patients will respond best to certain types of immunotherapies. Dr. Chan attended Harvard College for undergraduate studies and the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine to complete his MD and PhD, residency and post-doctoral fellowship.

Mark D. Johnson, MD, PhD, is a 2004 Sontag Foundation Distinguished Scientist Award recipient. Dr. Johnson is the Chair of the Department of Neurosurgery at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and the University of Massachusetts Memorial Medical Center.  He graduated Magna Cum Laude with a degree in chemistry from Amherst College, and Harvard Medical School, where he earned a medical degree and a Ph.D. in neurobiology. He completed an internship in general surgery and a residency in neurosurgery at the University of Washington. Upon completion of his residency, Dr. Johnson returned to Boston to join the Department of Neurosurgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. He maintains an independent laboratory that is focused on the cellular and molecular biology of brain tumors.

 About the Sontag Foundation

The Sontag Foundation, based in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, is one of the largest private funders of brain tumor research in the United States. Along with providing funding for research and support for patients impacted by a brain tumor diagnosis, the Foundation is a long-time funder of healthcare and social services efforts of local nonprofit organizations. Since 2002, the Foundation has funded over $35 million in grants for brain cancer research and provided over $10 million in support to over 60 nonprofits in Northeast Florida, most recently through its Oral Health Initiative.