Jeannine Brant portrait

Jeannine Brant

PhD, MS '90, FAAN

On her first day back to work as an oncology nurse after graduating with a master's degree from UCSF, Jeannine Brant, PhD, MS '90, FAAN, saw a familiar face: A friend from high school was a patient. He had advanced sarcoma and was suffering from excruciating nausea. 

Brant remembered a study that was underway during her time at UCSF, exploring a new anti-nausea medication called ondansetron. She quickly set out to secure access to the drug. 

"At the time, ondansetron, commonly known as Zofran, was still undergoing review by the FDA and was not available to the public. But I've always been committed to do whatever I can to help a patient. After lots of advocacy, I was able to secure compassionate use approval."

Brant's hard work paid off. The drug was invaluable in improving the patient's symptoms, even making it possible for him to celebrate his birthday with a trip to Hawaii. 

"That story perfectly illustrates the impact of my experience at UCSF. I was able to take what I learned from UCSF's cutting-edge research and innovative ideas and bring it directly to the community." 

Jeannine Brant with patient
Brant with Dave Ketterling, the patient Brant helped to access ondansetron. 


For Brant, the intellectual stimulation and the exceptional mentors she had at UCSF, many of whom are still close friends, showed her what was possible. "I had no idea I would be doing all the things I've been able to do as a nurse," said Brant. 

Today, Brant is internationally recognized for her expertise on cancer, pain and symptom management, and palliative care. She serves as executive director of clinical science and innovation at City of Hope, one of the best cancer hospitals in the country.

A few highlights of her distinguished career include 18 years as a clinical nurse specialist, the role she still credits as her favorite. She established a cancer prevention program for American Indian women across seven Indian reservations in the United States, created chemotherapy guidelines, participated on the clinical trials workgroup of Joe Biden's Cancer Moonshot panel, and has served on the National Academy of Medicine & Sciences' topical analgesic panel, the National Quality Forum's opioid use and use disorder panel, and the American Nurses Association's palliative care steering panel. 


Brenda Nevidjon, Michael Silbermann, Jeannine Brant
Brenda Nevidjon, MSN, RN, FAAN, chief executive officer of ONS, Michael Silbermann, DMD, PhD, and Brant visit Istanbul, Turkey in 2008.


In May 2022, Brant embarked on a new challenge as board president of the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS), the largest cancer nursing organization in the world.  

“I have been involved with ONS since the beginning of my nursing career, and it has shaped me into the oncology nurse I am today.”

It was through ONS that Brant met Michael Silbermann, DMD, PhD, a world leader in oncology and the executive director of the Middle East Cancer Consortium. Through his invitation and mentorship, Brant became the ONS liaison to the Middle East. Since 2008, she has worked with more than 19 countries in the Middle East and Northern Africa to build capacity for cancer resources and palliative care. 

“In the Middle East, I help run a program where we established a cohort of nurses, physicians and pharmacists,” she said. "We engage in mentor relationships for personal and professional development. Those professionals then go out and invest in others, bringing more into the supportive care in cancer and palliative care field.”  

The value of mentorship is a common theme for how Brant leads and how she reflects on her own career. “When I think about the leadership development that I’ve gained in my career, I could not have done it without mentors from places like ONS and UCSF.”  

As ONS president, Brant is working on strategic planning and policy initiatives. But it’s an intentional investment in mentorship that Brant is most excited to advance.  

She is growing ONS’ leadership program, building capacity to support and equip the next generation of nurse leaders.  

“My focus during my presidency is developing cross-generational relationships within the organization,” Brant said. “I’m excited to create opportunities where our organization’s established leaders can connect with the next generation through meaningful mentor-mentee relationships.”  

Brant’s passion for nursing makes her an exceptional ambassador for the field. In fact, it may even be considered somewhat infectious. Brant's daughter, who went to college near where Brant works, became an oncology nurse – as did four of her roommates.

Jeannine Brant and Marylin Dodd
Brant and Marylin Dodd, RN, PhD, FAAN, professor emerita, attend an ONS workshop. Dodd has mentored Brant since they met when Brant was enrolled in the master's program at UCSF.


Jeannine Brant with her daughter and her daughter's friend.
Brant attends a conference with her daughter (far right) and her daughter's college roommate (center). Both are oncology nurses.


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