2014 Public Service Award Winners in Recognition for Outstanding Service to the Foundation for Women’s Cancer

Six individuals have been selected to receive the Foundation for Women’s Cancer Public Service Award in recognition of their outstanding service to the Foundation for Women’s Cancer.  Each of them have served as faculty for 15 or more survivors courses which represents a true commitment to the Foundation and women living with a gynecologic cancer. Dr. von Gruenigen deserves special recognition in that she has been a member of the faculty for 26 courses in addition to serving as Education Chairperson.

birrerDr. Michael Birrer, Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard University

Dr. Birrer earned his undergraduate degree at Rensseleaer Polytechnic Institute and graduated with a B.S. in Biology.  He subsequently was accepted into the Medical Scientist Training Program at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and completed his M.D. and Ph.D. in 1982 with his principle area of study in microbiology and immunology.  He performed a medical internship at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and subsequently completed a residency in medicine at MGH.  Dr. Birrer entered the medical oncology fellowship at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland and upon completion performed a postdoctoral fellowship in the laboratory of Dr. John Minna on the molecular genetics of lung cancer.  After completing his fellowship, Dr. Birrer joined the faculty at the NCI in the Division of Cancer Treatment as an investigator in 1988.  Three years later, Dr. Birrer was appointed as a senior investigator (with tenure) and established the molecular mechanism section in the Division of Cancer Prevention and Control.  Over the next 17 years, Dr. Birrer held a number of positions including the Committee for the Protection of Human Subjects, Gynecologic Oncology Tumor Board, Extramural IRB, Clinical Oncology Fellowship Section Committee, Chair of the Gynecologic Oncology Working Group in the Division of Clinical Sciences and Deputy Branch Chief of the Cell and Cancer Biology Branch.

cohenDr. Carmel Cohen, Mount Sinai School of Medicine.

Dr. Carmel J. Cohen currently serves as Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecologic in the Division of Gynecologic Oncology and in the Ruttenberg Cancer Center, at the Icahn School of Medicine at the Mount Sinai Medical Center. He founded the Division of Gynecologic Oncology at Mount Sinai in 1967 and was its director for more than 25 years.  He has authored 290 publications and lectured widely.

Dr. Cohen has served in multiple capacities for many of his specialty’s academic and service organizations, resulting in his Presidency of the New York Obstetrical Society, the Society of Gynecologic Oncology, the Society of Pelvic Surgeons and the Eastern Division of the American Cancer Society.  He was a Founding member of the International Society of Gynecologic Oncology, a Founding member of the GOG, a Founding member of the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund and its Scientific Director, National Board Member of the American Cancer Society and Chair of the Gynecologic Cancer Advisory Committee as well as the Outcomes Committee.

 colemanDr. Robert Coleman, The University of Texas, MD Anderson Cancer Center

Dr. Coleman is professor of gynecologic oncology and Vice-Chair, Clinical Research at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas. Dr. Coleman received his doctor of medicine degree from Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska and completed his obstetrics/gynecology residency at Northwestern University Medical Center in Chicago, Illinois. Dr. Coleman completed his fellowship at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

Dr. Coleman’s research interests include novel therapeutics for ovarian, uterine, and cervical cancer, clinical trial development and statistical design, surgical innovations, and graduate education. He is the institution’s Gynecologic Oncology Group (GOG) principal investigator (PI), serves on the GOG’s Ovarian and Developmental Therapeutics Committees, and is PI or co-PI for several GOG prospective clinical trials including a national, multicenter, randomized trial evaluating chemotherapy and surgery for recurrent ovarian cancer, several trials of novel chemotherapeutics and biologics in cancers of the ovary, cervix, and uterus, and 2 trials evaluating lymphatic mapping for gynecologic malignancies. He currently is a co-project leader for the MDACC Ovarian SPORE, the MDACC Uterine SPORE, the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund, and the Marcus Foundation, each of which is sponsoring novel therapeutics trials in gynecologic cancers.

Dr. Coleman is the incoming president of the Society of Gynecologic Oncology.

goffDr. Barbara Goff, University of Washington School of Medicine

Dr. Goff is Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Director of Gynecologic Oncology at the University of Washington School of Medicine. Dr. Goff received her M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania, completed her residency at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and then completed a fellowship in Gynecologic Oncology at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Dr. Goff has authored more than 120 articles and has written multiple textbook chapters in gynecologic malignancies. Her current research interests are in early detection of ovarian cancer, novel therapeutics for gynecologic malignancies and surgical education. Dr. Goff is principal investigator on numerous grants including surgical skills for resident physicians, BRCA1/BRCA2 research, ovarian cancer symptom and early cancer detection studies.

Dr. Goff is the current president of the Society of Gynecologic Oncology.

Thomas Herzog Columbia University Medical CenterDr. Thomas Herzog, New York Presbyterian Medical Center

Dr. Herzog is the Director of Gynecologic Oncology and the Physicians & Surgeons Endowed Professor of Clinical Gynecology and Obstetrics. Dr. Herzog is also the Fellowship Director in Gynecologic Oncology for Columbia/Cornell.

He was recruited to Columbia University and New York Presbyterian after spending 11 years at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis where he was as an Associate Professor, and the Director of the Fellowship Training Program. He graduated from medical school at the University of Cincinnati and completed his residency at Good Samaritan Hospital in Cincinnati.  He completed his fellowship in Gynecologic Oncology at Washington University. He is board certified in both Obstetrics and Gynecology and Gynecologic Oncology. Clinical specialties include innovative cancer surgery, minimally invasive surgery. tumor suppressor genes, molecular genetics, cytokines, pre-invasive cervical cancer, and novel cancer treatments.

vongDr. Vivian von Gruenigen, Summa Health System

Dr. von Gruenigen, M.D., is Professor at Northeastern Ohio Medical University, System Medical Director Women’s Institute, Summa Health System and Endowed Chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Summa Akron City and St. Thomas Hospitals.  She has received numerous teaching and research awards from multiple institutions. Her most recent honor was the Richard Ireland Award at the World Congress Leadership Summit on Business of Women’s Health.  She is the author of over 100 abstracts, articles and book chapters.  Her research, which focuses on cancer survivorship and patient-related outcomes, has been funded by the government, Lance Armstrong Foundation and the American Cancer Society.  She is founder of the blog SummaFlourishTM


Couldn’t make it to the National Race to End Women’s Cancer? You can still support women with gynecologic cancers by making a contribution today.


September is Gynecologic Cancer Awareness Month. #GCAM


The FWC is proud to offer various Research Grants and Awards. Click here for more information.


FREE Gynecologic Cancer Education Courses throughout the country. For more information, click here.