UF pathology professor honored in Italy for breast cancer advocacy

Published: May 29, 2015
Shahla Masood, M.D.

Shahla Masood, MD, professor and chair of pathology and laboratory medicine at the University of Florida College of Medicine – Jacksonville, was a guest speaker at this year’s Susan G. Komen Italia celebration, held May14-17 in Rome, Italy. Susan G. Komen Italia is a partnership between the renowned Susan G. Komen organization and the Catholic University of Rome to fight breast cancer largely through advocacy and fundraising.

The 15th anniversary celebration of Komen Italia featured a series of scientific and educational events and concluded with the Rome Race for the Cure, where Masood was honored for her widespread contributions to breast cancer research, education and diagnosis. She also served as the guest of honor at a dinner reception at the U.S. Embassy in Rome.

The Rome Race for the Cure fitness event attracts more than 50,000 participants each year, making it the largest Race for the Cure event in the world. Two days before the event, a health village was available to provide free breast cancer screenings to underserved women.

The creation of Komen Italia was announced in 2000 during the fifth annual Multidisciplinary Symposium on Breast Disease in Rome. The symposium — which attracted more than 450 breast cancer specialists from around the world to hear presentations by 40 leading scientists — marked the unveiling of two celebratory Italian postage stamps designed to increase breast cancer awareness. The stamps sold millions of copies, becoming a major source of breast cancer research funding in Italy.

Masood, the driving force behind the creation of Komen Italia, initiated the annual Multidisciplinary Symposium on Breast Disease to provide a forum to discuss recent advancements in breast health. The event is held each year at the Ritz-Carlton in Amelia Island, Florida. In addition to Italy, the conference has been taken abroad to France, Egypt and Saudi Arabia, drawing hundreds of attendees and a host of internationally renowned physicians each time. 

Masood, who directs the UF Health Breast Center in Jacksonville, has dedicated her entire professional life to advancing global breast health education. She is founder and editor of The Breast Journal, established the International Society of Breast Pathology, and directs an annual public forum that helps locals become aware of the most recent scientific information about breast health.

Race for the Cure - Rome, Italy

Shahla Masood, M.D.

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