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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
Goal: To develop new therapies for metastatic breast cancer (MBC).
Impact: Dr. Schneider aims to identify mechanisms that allow breast cancer cells to spread to other sites in the body, a process called metastasis. His work may lead to the development of drugs that target these mechanisms to treat MBC.
What’s next: Having discovered a pathway that is involved in the spread of breast cancer, he and his team now plan to develop drugs capable of blocking it.
Metastatic breast cancer (MBC) is cancer that has spread from the breast to other organs in the body. While it is treatable, MBC cannot be cured, and metastases are the cause of most deaths due to breast cancer. Thus, new therapeutic strategies for the disease are urgently needed. Dr. Schneider’s research has revealed a mechanism that allows breast cancer cells to spread and could be targeted for the treatment of MBC.
Full Research Summary
Research area: Identifying new strategies to treat metastatic breast cancer.
Impact: Metastatic breast cancer (MBC) is incurable and the leading cause of breast cancer deaths. There is an urgent need to both develop new treatments and identify strategies to prevent breast cancer from spreading. Dr. Schneider’s BCRF research is focused on understanding the underlying biology driving breast cancer metastasis and identifying molecular targets for the development of effective therapies to reduce breast cancer deaths.
Current research: Dr. Schneider’s team discovered a previously unknown mechanism to manufacture proteins that are required for metastasis. The process is apparently dispensable in normal cells, making it a strong target for drug development.
What they’ve learned so far: Dr. Schneider’s team identified a unique mechanism used by breast cancer cells that allows them to metastasize. They identified the specific target and initiated a program to develop new drugs to sensitize metastatic breast cancer cells for more effective treatment.
What’s next: They are presently developing drugs to block a protein synthesis pathway required in metastasis.
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.