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Shridar Ganesan, MD, PhD

Associate Director for Translational Science
Associate Professor of Medicine
Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
Chief, Molecular Oncology
Rutgers University Cancer Institute of New Jersey
New Brunswick, New Jersey

Current Research

  • Seeking to identify novel anti-cancer drugs.
  • Laboratory studies are conducted to test a promising series of new compounds in BRCA and triple negative breast cancer.
  • These efforts are creating a new pipeline of novel therapeutics for the treatment of BRCA1 mutant tumors.

Individuals with inherited mutations in the BRCA gene have high risk of developing breast cancer. Most BRCA breast cancers tend to be of the triple negative (TNBC) subtype, an aggressive form of breast cancer for which there are no targeted therapies. Drs. Ganesan and Carpizo have developed a new class of drugs that restore a powerful tumor suppressing protein that is often mutated in TNBC.

Full Research Summary

TP53 is a potent suppressor of tumor growth, but is the most commonly mutated gene in cancers, particularly in basal-like, triple negative (TNBC) and BRCA1-driven cancers. Restoring the anti-cancer function of mutant TP53 with a small molecule drug has long been considered one of the “holy grails” of cancer drug development.

Dr. Carpizo's laboratory identified a new class of anti-cancer drugs called zinc metallochaperones (ZMCs) that targets tumors with mutations in TP53. In the last year, they reported that the ZMC drug they developed is particularly effective in killing breast cancer cells that harbor a BRCA1 mutation.

In the upcoming year, Drs. Ganesan and Carpizo will perform key translational research to accelerate the development of ZMCs to the clinic. They hope to identify a novel ZMC with drug-like properties that shows efficacy in laboratory cancer models.

In addition, they have identified a new series of compounds and a new candidate for the treatment of TNBC and will investigate these in laboratory models.

These studies are paving the way to new, targeted therapies for very aggressive breast cancers.

Biography

Dr. Shridar Ganesan is the Associate Director for Translational Science at the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, Chief of the Section of Molecular Oncology, and Associate Professor of Medicine at the Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. Dr. Ganesan received an A.B. from Princeton University, and completed his medical and graduate studies at Yale University, followed by post-graduate and post-doctoral training at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. 

He is a medical oncologist with clinical interest in triple-negative breast cancer and rare cancers. His research interests include genomic classification of cancer and investigations of mechanisms of DNA repair with a focus on the biology of BRCA1 and BRCA2 and their role in genomic and epigenetic stability. The overall goal of this project is to better understand the genomic evolution of cancers and develop novel targeted therapeutic strategies. 

BCRF Investigator Since

2016

Area(s) of Focus

Co-Investigators