Honors & News
October 23, 2014
Ed Brown Awarded Department of Defense Grant
Dr. Edward Brown (BME) has received a $140k grant from the Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Program for his project entitled
Prediction of Metastasis Using Second Harmonic Generation.The goal of this one year project is to expand upon a recent finding from Dr. Brown's laboratory that an optical scattering phenomenon called second harmonic generation (SHG), when applied to breast cancer biopsy specimens, can help predict metastatic outcome in 10-year patient follow-up data.
This has significant clinical implications because current data suggests that about half of patients that are systemically treated after their tumor is removed would not have experienced a metastasis, did not need to suffer the toxic effects of systemic therapy, and therefore were
overtreated. Hence there is a pressing need to predict who will, and will not, experience metastasis, to minimize overtreatment. The current work, conducted in collaboration with Dr. Peter Salzman (Biostatistics), Dr. Ping Tang (Pathology), and Dr. Kristin Skinner (Surgery), will validate their recent findings in a second patient cohort and determine the most powerful predictive formula incorporating SHG signatures as well as other clinical data.
October 1, 2013
Students Receive Awards at Neuroscience Retreat
Anasuya Das, a former student in Dr. Krystel Huxlin's lab who defended her PhD thesis on July 18, 2013 was awarded the Doty Award for Excellence in Neuroscience Dissertation Research during 2013 Neuroscience Retreat.
Christina Cloninger, a 4th-year student in Dr.Gary Paige's lab, won second place in the John Bartlett Poster Session during 2013 Neuroscience Retreat, Rochester, NY.
Ryan Dawes, a third-year student in Dr. Ed Brown's lab, won a travel award from the Schmitt Program on Integrative Brain Research. Ryan plans to use this award to attend the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Advances in Breast Cancer Research Conference, which is being held in San Diego from October 3rd-6th, 2013.
May 22, 2013
Kelley Madden Receives 2-year DOD IDEA Expansion Grant
Kelley S. Madden, Ph.D., Research Assistant Professor in Edward Brown's lab, in the Department of Biomedical Engineering has received a 2-year DOD IDEA Expansion Grant worth $575,000 for her project entitled, Alpha2-Adrenergic Receptors and Breast Tumor Stroma: A Novel Pathway Driving Breast Cancer Growth and Metastasis. The project is based on the stress neurotransmitter norepinephrine which promotes breast tumor progression and metastasis. The grant will investigate how selective activation of one of the receptors for norepinephrine, the alpha2-adrenergic receptor, impacts tumor stromal cells and their modulation of the tumor extracellular matrix to promote tumor metastasis. The proposed research may lead to new therapies to treat metastatic breast cancer by targeting alpha2-adrenergic receptors.
March 27, 2013
Neuroscience graduate student, Ryan Dawes, has been awarded a 2013 Breast Cancer Research Grant, from the Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester. The 1-year, $50,000 grant will fund his project, entitled Breast Cancer Exosomes, Novel Intermediaries in Psychosocial Stress-induced Tumor Pathogenesis and was only one of two applications to be awarded this prestigious grant. This work will investigate if psychosocial stress can modulate the number or content of secreted small vesicles (exosomes), and determine if this can alter the process of tumorigenesis in an animal model of spontaneous breast cancer as Ryan continues his research in Dr. Edward Brown's lab.
January 3, 2012
Mitochondria powering neurons are visible in red.
An article published by BME Research Assistant Professor Seth Perry,
Mitochondrial membrane potential probes and the proton gradient: a practical usage guide,was BioTechniques top-accessed peer-reviewed paper for 2011. The distinction was determined by number of viewings on BioTechniques.com.
Published last February, the paper provides an overview of the strengths and potential problems of the most commonly-used mitochondrial membrane dyes. Other authors of the paper include BME professor Edward Brown, as well as researchers from the URMC Department of Neurology, the Graduate Program in Toxicology, the Center for Neural Development and Disease, and the Department of Microbiology and Immunology.
August 17, 2010
Dr. Kelley Madden Receives Two-Year NIH Grant
Dr. Kelley Madden, BME Research Assistant Professor, and current member of the Brown Lab, has been awarded a two year, $232,943, grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The title of this R21 grant is
'Stress, Sympathetic Activation and Breast Tumor Growth and Metastasisand focuses on studies that will connect stress exposure and the stress hormones norepinephrine and epinephrine to cancer growth and spread in two mouse models of breast cancer. This work will provide immediate insight into how long-term stress exposure influences breast cancer growth and metastasis, and will lead to additional options for the treatment of breast cancer.
August 10, 2010
BME Graduate Student Javier Lapeira Soto Receives DoD Predoctoral Traineeship Award
BME graduate student, Javier Lapeira Soto, a current member of the Brown Lab, has been awarded a 2010 Predoctoral Traineeship Award from the Department of Defense (DoD) Breast Cancer Research Program (BCRP) based on the
high scientific merit of his application, Breast Cancer Endothelial Cell Calcium Dynamics Using Two-Photon Microscopy, and its relevance to the programmatic goals of the BCRP.
May 1, 2010
Mercedes Szpunar Receives GWIS Travel and Conference Award
February 1, 2010
Dr. Kelley Madden Receives Department of Defense IDEA Award
Dr. Kelley Madden has received funding from the Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Program for a 2-year study that seeks to understand how an important stress pathway, the sympathetic nervous system, influences breast tumor growth and metastasis. Specifically, this study will determine if the sympathetic nervous system encourages growth of blood vessels into a tumor (angiogenesis). A unique aspect of this project is to determine if the sympathetic nervous system alters the effectiveness of therapy targeting and destroying tumor blood vessels (antiangiogenic therapy). Understanding how a stress pathway influences tumor growth will open the door to therapeutic options targeting the sympathetic nervous system. Importantly, therapies targeting sympathetic nervous system signaling pathways are already in use in the clinic for safe, chronic treatment of heart disease, offering the possibility of rapid clinical application of our findings. This project continues work that has been previously funded by the Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester.
October 8, 2009
MD/PhD Student Mercedes Szpunar Receives a DoD Breast Cancer Research Program Predoctoral Fellowship
Mercedes Szpunar, an MD/PhD student in the laboratory of Dr. Edward Brown, has received a Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Program predoctoral fellowship. This fellowship, which supports up to three years of graduate stipend and travel funds, funds her thesis project focused on the effects of chronic stressor exposure on breast cancer growth. This study seeks to delineate how stress hormones alter tumor cell signaling, thereby promoting tumor growth and metastasis. Utilizing human breast cancer cell lines, the project includes in vitro and in vivo experiments and the optical technique of Second Harmonic Generation (SHG) - to image the ordering of collagen fibers – to determine changes in tumor progression in the setting of chronic stress.
September 30, 2009
Dr. Edward Brown Receives an NIH Director's New Innovator Award
Dr. Edward Brown has received an NIH Director's New Innovator Award to support a 5 year/$1.5M study that seeks to understand the cells and signals responsible for collagen organization in tumor-draining lymph nodes (TDLNs). This study exploits an optical phenomenon called Second Harmonic Generation (SHG) which allows for the microscopic imaging of ordered collagen fibers within living tissue. Tumor cells can exploit these ordered fibers during metastasis, and Dr. Brown hopes to determine the cells and signals which influence the SHG+ fibers in order to disrupt their production and inhibit metastasis via the TDLN, which is a primary route. He will also explore the ability of SHG imaging of TDLN biopsies to predict metastatic ability, to aid in customization of postoperative therapy. This project continues work that has been previously funded by a D.o.D.
Era of HopeScholar Award and a Pew Scholar in the Biomedical Sciences Award, and complements a recently awarded D.o.D.
Era of HopeScholar Research Award.
August 28, 2009
Dr. Edward Brown has received funding from the Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Program to support a 5 year/$2M study that seeks to understand the cells and signals responsible for collagen organization in breast tumors. This study exploits an optical phenomenon called Second Harmonic Generation which allows for the microscopic imaging of ordered collagen fibers within breast tumor models. Breast tumor cells exploit these ordered fibers to escape the tumor mass, and Dr. Brown hopes to determine the cells and signals which influence the SHG+ fibers in order to disrupt their production and inhibit metastasis. He will also explore the ability of SHG imaging of breast tumor biopsies to predict metastatic ability, to aid in customization of postoperative therapy. This project continues work that has been previously funded by a D.o.D.
Era of HopeScholar Award and a Pew Scholar in the Biomedical Sciences Award.
August 3, 2007
This summer the University of Rochester Medical Center boasts winners of two of the most prestigious awards available to young scientists - and the winners are from the same family.
Edward Brown, Ph.D., has been named a Pew Scholar in the Biomedical Sciences, and his spouse Ania Majewska, Ph.D., has received an award from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Brown, one of just 20 scientists in the nation to be recognized by the Pew Charitable Trusts this year, will receive $240,000 toward his research, while Majewska will receive $45,000 to continue her work.
- Second-harmonic generation scattering directionality predicts tumor cell motility in collagen gels. J Biomed Opt. 20, 51024. (2015 May 01).
- Semi-solid tumor model in Xenopus laevis/gilli cloned tadpoles for intravital study of neovascularization, immune cells and melanophore infiltration. Dev Biol. In press. (2015 Jan 17).