Collaborative Research with the Perlmutter Cancer Center


Environmental & Molecular Carcinogenesis Research

Program Leader: Max Costa, PhD
Professor and Chairman of the Department of Environmental Medicine and Professor of Pharmacology

The Perlmutter Cancer Center's environmental and molecular carcinogenesis researchers seek to understand the environmental causes of cancer and to use this information to improve cancer prevention and early detection efforts. The Program integrates investigators from numerous departments on four distinct NYU campuses:  Sterling Forest, the NYU School of Medicine, the NYU College of Dentistry, and Washington Square.

Research in the Environmental & Molecular Carcinogenesis Program is divided into five thematic groups:

•    DNA adducts, damage, and repair
•    Carcinogenesis and animal models
•    Chemoprevention
•    Cell signaling and epigenetic mechanisms of carcinogenesis
•    Early detection and cancer epidemiology


Breast Cancer Research

Program Leaders: Silvia Formenti, MD
Professor of Radiation Oncology and Medicine (Medical Oncology)
Chairman, Department of Radiation Oncology

Robert Schneider, PhD
Albert B. Sabin Professor of Microbiology and Molecular Pathogenesis
Professor, Department of Radiation Oncology

The Perlmutter Cancer Center's Breast Cancer Research Program unites basic scientists, translational researchers, and clinicians to promote clinical and translational research aimed at improving breast cancer screening, diagnosis, and treatment for women from all cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds.
Historically, researchers have had a poor understanding of the molecular basis for how breast cancer develops, invades, and metastasizes. Only recently has evidence emerged to explain why the traditional approach of surgery, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy to large groups of patients has benefited only a relatively small patient subset. Our breast cancer researchers believe that the current times offer a unique opportunity to integrate genomic and molecular biology to change the current state of the art in breast cancer research.

At the Perlmutter Cancer Center, breast cancer investigators strive:

• to understand the fundamental mechanisms that contribute to the development, invasion, and metastasis of breast cancer
• to translate these findings into clinical research programs to improve breast cancer diagnosis and treatment
• to support and advance the development of clinicians and research scientists working collaboratively on breast cancer

A particular strength of the Perlmutter Cancer Center's Breast Cancer Research Program is our diverse patient population, which includes large multiethnic, international populations comprised mostly of medically underserved and minority women with breast cancer. Our unique relationship with Bellevue Hospital Center, part of the largest public hospital group in the United States, enables us to study the biology and treatment of breast cancer in women from all walks of life.


Genitourinary Oncology Research

Program Leaders: Michael John Garabedian, PhD
Professor, Departments of Microbiology and Urology

Samir Taneja, MD
James M. Neissa and Janet Riha Neissa Associate Professor of Urologic Oncology

In laboratory and the clinic, the Perlmutter Cancer Center's Genitourinary Oncology Research Program's basic and clinical investigators are collaborating to:

• Decipher the mechanisms of prostate and bladder carcinogenesis and tumor progression
• Develop new methods for diagnosing bladder and prostate cancers
• Assess novel chemopreventive agents for prostate cancer
• Effectively implement clinical trials for prostate and kidney cancers based on novel therapeutic strategies.
• Provide optimal multidisciplinary treatment for genitourinary malignancies
• The program achieves its goals through the following:
• Hosting inter-programmatic seminars and conferences
• Providing access to Perlmutter Cancer Center core facilities and program resources
• Identifying resources and support to maximize the success of collaborations and individual program members


Growth Control Research

Program Leaders: Michele Pagano, MD

May Ellen and Gerald Jay Ritter Professor of Oncology, Department of Pathology
Deputy Director, Perlmutter Cancer Center

The Growth Control Research Program at Perlmutter Cancer Center brings together scientists who share a passionate interest in the study of the molecular mechanisms through which normal cells become cancerous. Our investigators are exploring the signaling pathways that trigger the growth and division of tumor cells. These pathways include those regulated by genes that promote cancer (oncogenes) as well as those that put the brakes on cell growth (tumor suppressor genes). Investigators are also studying the apparatus involved in a process called cellular transcription.
The Growth Control Research Program facilitates translational research by encouraging continuous interaction between basic science researchers and clinicians in both this Program and related programs. Such interactions allow an exchange of ideas, reagents, and expertise. Through these interactions, members establish a critical bridge between the basic understanding of cancer development and the design and evaluation of the most promising new therapeutic targets. As a result, the Perlmutter Cancer Center's Growth Control investigators work to develop new anticancer drugs and help bring them into the clinic to be evaluated in clinical trials.