Dr. Ellen V. Sigal is chairperson and founder of Friends of Cancer Research ("Friends"), a non-profit organization dedicated to accelerating the nation's progress toward prevention and treatment of cancer by mobilizing public support for cancer research funding and providing education on key public policy issues. Over the past 11 years, Friends has pioneered innovative public-private partnerships, organized critical policy forums, educated the public and brought together key communities to develop collaborative strategies in the field of cancer research. She received her Ph.D. from Rutgers University in Russian history.
Dr. Sigal was recently elected to 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 National Cancer Institute Board of Scientific Advisors, the National Institutes of Health Foundation Board chairing its Public-Private Partnerships Committee, the American Association for Cancer Research Foundation Board of Trustees, and on the board of several national cancer centers. She served on the National Institutes of Health prestigious Director's Council of Public Representatives from 2003-2006. She was a presidential appointee to the National Cancer Advisory Board from 1992-1998 chairing its Budget and Planning Committee which oversees the federal cancer budget.
Dr. Sigal was the 2008 recipient of the Margaret Foti Award for Leadership and Extraordinary Achievements in Cancer Research and has received the Association of American Cancer Institutes' Public Service Award, the American Society of Clinical Oncology Special Recognition Award, the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center National Leadership Award, and the American Association for Cancer Research National Leadership Award. She has been honored by Research!America, George Washington University Cancer Institute, International Spirit of Life Foundation, and Washingtonian magazine as a Washingtonian of the Year.