Patient Care Bio
Eleanor Carson-Walter, PhD
A Research Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery at the University of Rochester Medical Center, Dr. Carson-Walter holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Williams College. She earned a Ph.D. in human genetics and molecular biology from the Johns Hopkins University. She completed a post-doctoral fellowship in molecular oncology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Before joining the Neurosurgery Department at the University of Rochester, she was an Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery at the University of Pittsburgh and director of the Molecular Biology Core Laboratory for Neurosurgery.
Dr. Carson-Walter joined the Department of Neurological Surgery as a Research Assistant Professor in 2007 and co-directs the laboratory with Kevin A. Walter, M.D., Associate Professor of Neurosurgery and Oncology.
Dr. Carson-Walter's primary research interests include investigating the mechanisms brain tumors use to grow new blood vessels and devising ways to identify unique changes in the tumor vessels that can be exploited as therapeutic targets. Growth of tumors is associated with and dependent upon the development of new blood vessels to provide the tumor with oxygen and nutrients. Destruction of the vessels that feed a tumor prevents the tumor from progressing, essentially through starvation. Dr. Carson-Walter's lab has identified molecules that are expressed on the surface of the blood vessel cells (endothelial cells) in brain tumors, but not expressed on the normal brain endothelial cells. Current projects are aimed at further characterization of these molecules and their function in primary and metastatic human brain tumors and animal models. This should help researchers understand the role of these genes in blood vessel formation. Future goals include the development of strategies for therapeutic targeting of these proteins. The lab is also interested in mechanisms of brain swelling (cerebral edema) associated with blood-brain barrier disruption and the reactions of brain tumor vessels to radiation.