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Robert J. Schneider, PhD

Associate Dean, Office of Therapeutic Alliances
Associate Director, NYU Cancer Institute
Co-Director, Breast Cancer and Translational Cancer Research
Albert B. Sabin Professor of Molecular Pathogenesis
NYU School of Medicine
New York, New York

Current Research

  • Seeking new treatments and new combination approaches for metastatic breast cancer.

  • A clinical trial is planned to test new therapeutic strategies, while laboratory studies are focused on the development of a drug to block protein synthesis–a process required for tumor growth.

  • Results from these studies will lead to new drugs to block tumor growth and re-sensitize metastatic breast cancer cells to treatment.

Metastasis occurs when cancer cells break away from the primary tumor, enter the circulation and form a new tumor in a different tissue. The primary sites for breast cancer metastasis are typically lung, liver, brain and bone. Once breast cancer has spread to one of these tissues it becomes incurable and without new strategies to prevent or treat metastasis, women and men will continue to die from this disease. Dr. Schneider’s research is focused on developing new therapeutics and combination treatment approaches that target the ability of metastatic breast cancer cells to carry out their specialized programs of the protein synthesis.

Full Research Summary

Most women who die of breast cancer die from metastatic disease, the spread of tumor cells to different parts of the body. Metastasis often results following treatment failure but can also occur decades after what was thought to be successful treatment. Currently, no curative therapies exist for metastatic breast cancer. 

The major goal of Dr. Schneider's BCRF-supported research is to develop effective treatments for this disease. Work from his laboratory has shown that metastasis of breast cancer requires specific reprogramming of the cancer cells’ protein synthesis machinery by a protein called mTOR. His group has shown that this reprogramming also confers resistance to chemotherapy and radiation treatments. 

The team has developed several new approaches that will enter the clinic this year, one for a new combination treatment for metastatic breast cancer, and the other to protect ovarian function and fertility during chemotherapy. 

This year, they will continue to work on identifying the genes that depend on mTOR to orchestrate breast cancer metastasis, as well as the mechanism by which mTOR commandeers the protein synthesis machinery of the cancer cell. Results from these studies will initiate the development of new drugs to block this switch and re-sensitize metastatic breast cancer cells to treatment.

Biography

Dr. Robert Schneider is the Albert Sabin Professor of Molecular Pathogenesis at NYU School of Medicine, an Associate Director of the NYU Cancer Institute, Breast Cancer Program Co-Director and Associate Dean for the Office of Therapeutics and Industry Alliances. He has published more than 140 peer reviewed papers. His research is directed to the development, progression and metastasis of breast cancer and the interplay of the inflammatory response, and the development of new therapeutics for metastatic breast cancer. Dr. Schneider has received numerous awards and prizes in recognition of his research, including the 2010 Judah Folkman Memorial lecture; the 2011 Distinguished Alumnus Award & Commencement address, University of Delaware and the 2012 Susan E. Donelan Hope for the Future Award for breast cancer research, Dana Farber Cancer Institute. Dr. Schneider is a founding scientist of five biotechnology companies focused on translating oncology research to the clinic.

BCRF Investigator Since

2002

Donor Recognition

The Hamptons Paddle & Party for Pink Award

Area(s) of Focus