Utah: Huntsman Cancer Institute

Dr. Saundra Buys, Principal InvestigatorDr. Saundra Buys, Principal Investigator

Saundra Buys received her MD degree from Tufts University in Boston. She is Professor of Medicine in the division of Oncology at Huntsman Cancer Institute, University of Utah Health Sciences Center and specializes in the treatment of breast cancer.

Dr. Buys is co-director of the Family Cancer Assessment Clinic which provides genetic counseling, testing, and recommendations about management of risk to individuals with a family history of cancer. Her research interests are in the areas of genetic predisposition to breast and ovarian cancer and screening for cancer, including a recently-completed study on the effect of screening for ovarian cancer.



Dr. Caren Frost, Co-Principal Investigator

Dr. Frost's Ph.D. is in Medical, Cultural, and Applied Anthropology with dissertation field research considering how rural Moroccan women use traditional and modern medical systems and information to provide health care for their families. She served as the Middle East Center's Associate Director (2009-2011) and Director of Graduate Studies (2010-2011) for the Middle East Studies Program.

Dr. Frost is the Director of International Social Work Research and the Chair of the Health Domain for the Masters of Social Work Program for the University of Utah's College of Social Work. she teaches courses on administration and supervision, global patterns of health and mental health, issues in women's health, and human rights issues in the Middle Ease and North Africa. She conducts research on the psychosocial aspects of women's health in a number of venues. Dr. Frost is engaged in developing a long-term project dealing with supportive oncology care in Mongolia.


Sarah Colonna, MD, Co-investigator

Dr. Colonna specializes in caring for women at high risk for breast cancer. She is board certified in internal medicine and medical oncology. Dr. Colonna sees women at risk for breast cancer because of a known genetic mutation, a strong family history of breast cancer or abnormal findings on a breast biopsy. She researches the use of breast MRI as a tool to better quantify breast cancer risk and is involved with longitudinal studies to better understand how the environment can impact on a woman’s risk of breast cancer. Dr. Colonna is also specifically interested in how medical professionals communicate cancer risks to their patients.




Karen O'Toole, RN CCRP, Project Manager

Ms. O'Toole has worked for 12 years as a staff nurse in an oncology, med-surg, infectious disease unit, with specialized training and certification in oncology since 1993. She currently enjoy working in patient and public education at the Huntsman Cancer Institute (since 1999) and have had the pleasure of working with the Prostate, Lung, Ovarian, and Colon (PLCO) Clinical Trial, National Lung Screening Trial, STAR Trial, and now LEGACY.  She is also involved with the High Risk Breast Cancer Clinic at the Huntsman Cancer Institute.



Cathy Ricci, Research Assistant

Cathy began her work at the Huntsman Cancer Institute as Administrative Secretary for the Wellness Center, where she loved connecting cancer patients and their families with programs and services that brought balance and hope into their lives. She transitioned to the Legacy Girls Study in December of 2014 to support participant appointments and help record data. Cathy has a BA in Sociology and experience in offices, classrooms, lay ministry and volunteer services.





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