When it comes to fighting breast cancer, every voice counts.

Bringing the Patient Voice to Research

Our Advocates in Science program (AIS) is a community of dedicated volunteer advocates who work to reduce the burden of breast cancer in their communities. Research advocates bring the patient voice to research, ensuring that the unique and valuable perspectives of breast cancer patients, survivors, and co-survivors are integrated into the scientific dialogue and decisions, which impact progress toward ending breast cancer. 

Research advocates play a variety of roles throughout the research process. Advocates do everything from educating others about research, to participating in research grant peer reviews, and working with or as part of scientific teams to help prioritize, develop and implement research projects., AIS members also engage in ongoing education to enhance their advocacy skills and expand their own scientific knowledge. 

AIS members participating in Komen-funded training at Genomic Health during the American Society of Clinical Oncology Breast Health Symposium, September 2012

Are you a researcher interested in finding an AIS to help with your research project? Find out more.

The Komen Advocates in Science program strives to be the premier community for research advocates. The AIS program is designed to:

  • Foster excellence in research advocacy 
  • Engage advocates in a variety of research-related activities 
  • Provide research advocate education and training to improve skills and expand scientific knowledge 
  • Make connections between research advocates and Komen-funded researchers
  • Enhance community and communications among AIS members, the Komen Affiliate Network and Komen-funded researchers 

Our work is centered on three areas:

Focusing breast cancer research to maximize impact.
AIS members ensure that Komen-funded breast cancer research will answer the questions most important to those affected by breast cancer, raise the bar for how advocates and researchers work together, and make sure unique and valuable patient perspectives are included in scientific discussions and decision-making that influence our progress toward ending breast cancer forever.

Making community connections to drive change.
AIS members establish and strengthen connections among different stakeholders, foster meaningful community collaborations and enhance community awareness.

Telling our stories to emphasize urgency and impact.
AIS members tell personal, powerful stories about Komen-funded breast cancer research to inform and inspire all Komen stakeholders, community outreach and legislative policy. These stories demonstrate the personal impact of Komen’s investment in breast cancer research, and the urgency to find more effective ways to prevent, diagnose, treat and cure breast cancer.

The AIS program helps match research advocates to activities that best fit their training, experience and preference. We also help identify education and training opportunities to improve research advocates’ skills and knowledge.

Opportunities include:

The AIS program is overseen by the AIS Steering Committee, a group of advocates who work with Komen staff to develop the strategy for the program. Learn more about the AIS Steering Committee.

Are you interested in becoming an AIS? If you are passionate about ending breast cancer and have an interest in scientific research, we welcome you to join us. 

Learn more about AIS, join the program, and find valuable AIS resources.