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BCRF Investigator Since

2017

Donor Recognition

The Hirschhorn Award in Honor of Susan B. Hirshhorn and in memory of her mother Ellen S. Hirshhorn

Jennifer Rosenbluth, MD, PhD

Medical Oncology Fellow
Dana Farber Cancer Institute/ Harvard Medical School
Boston, Massachussetts
Conquer Cancer Foundation of ASCO

Current Research

  • Seeking new strategies for the prevention of inherited breast cancer.

  • Laboratory studies are conducted to characterize the genetic profiles of cancer progenitor cells to identify targets to prevent cancer growth.

  • Understanding what causes cells with a BRCA1 mutation to become cancerous can lead to new targets that can prevent cancer.

Individuals who inherit a mutation in the BRCA1 gene have a high risk of developing breast cancer.  These breast cancers often occur at a young age, and are often aggressive.  Currently, the only effective prevention for  BRCA cancer is surgical removal of the breast and ovaries.  Thus, there is an urgent need for new cancer prevention strategies for these patients.

BRCA1-associated breast cancer is thought to originate in a specific type of progenitor cell that is present in normal mammary tissue.  These progenitor cells accumulate additional changes that cause them to grow in an unchecked manner, leading to cancer development. 

Dr. Rosenbluth has developed a method to study these early processes in cancer development by cultivating normal breast tissue in the laboratory. She will use tissue from women with or without an inherited BRCA mutation to identify early vulnerabilities in precancerous cells.  Targeting specific signaling molecules in these cells may inhibit precancerous growth.  The ultimate goal of this project is to develop new approaches for prevention of this disease.

Dr. Rosenbluth is conducting these studies under the mentoship of BCRF investigator and Scientific Advisory Board Member, Dr. Joan Brugge.

Bio

Dr. Jennifer Rosenbluth is a medical oncology fellow at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, currently doing a research fellowship in the laboratory of Dr. Joan Brugge in the Department of Cell Biology, Harvard Medical School.  She is studying the early steps in the development of breast cancer with an emphasis on inherited forms of this disease. 

Dr. Rosenbluth completed her undergraduate studies in molecular biology at Princeton University.  Through the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine MD-PhD program, she received extensive training in basic cancer research and biochemistry.  During her graduate studies, she examined the role of a tumor suppressor protein called p73.  Her work led to a clinical trial in breast cancer patients, using a strategy aimed at activating p73 to kill tumor cells.  She subsequently completed internal medicine residency training at Massachusetts General Hospital, and continued her clinical training in oncology at MGH and DFCI. 

She is interested in developing new avenues for the prevention of breast cancer. In her current research, she will use novel cell culture techniques to test the effects of targeted therapies on the growth of premalignant breast progenitor cells.