Ellen V. Sigal, PhD, is Chairperson and Founder of Friends of Cancer Research (Friends), a cancer research think tank and advocacy organization based in Washington, DC.
Friends is a leader in developing partnerships and advocating for policies that will get treatments and therapies to patients in the safest and quickest way possible. Friends works with federal health agencies, Congressional leadership, academic research centers, and private sector industry producing real results.
Dr. Sigal is Vice Chair of the inaugural board of directors of the Reagan-Udall Foundation, a partnership designed to modernize medical product development, accelerate innovation, and enhance product safety in collaboration with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. She serves on the Board of the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health where she chairs its Public-Private Partnerships Committee.
In 2010, Dr. Sigal was appointed to a six year term on the Board of Governors of the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) as a representative of patients and health consumers.
She also holds leadership positions with a broad range of cancer advocacy, public policy organizations, and academic health centers including: the American Association for Cancer Research Foundation Board; MD Anderson Cancer Center External Advisory Board, the Duke University Cancer Center Board of Overseers, and The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center Advisory Council.
During her more than twenty year commitment to cancer research, Dr. Sigal has served in a number of critical public positions. She served on the National Cancer Institute Board of Scientific Advisors from 2003-2009, and the National Institutes of Health Director’s Council of Public Representatives from 2003-2006. She was a Presidential Appointee to the National Cancer Advisory Board from 1992-1998, where she chaired the Budget and Planning Committee that oversees the federal cancer budget. In 1998, Dr. Sigal was named Vice Chairman of the Board of The March, a national grassroots advocacy group that brought thousands of volunteers to Washington to liaise with Congress and to set a new advocacy agenda for cancer research and treatment. She is a past member of the American Society of Clinical Oncology Foundation Board. Dr. Sigal has also been instrumental in harnessing the energies of Hollywood on behalf of cancer research, serving as President of The Creative Community Task Force for Cancer Research.