Jennifer Rosenbluth, MD, PhD

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute – Harvard Medical School

Currently one in eight women in the US are predicted to develop breast cancer in their lifetime, but what is unknown is how many of these cancers can be prevented through advances in precision medicine.  At this time, prevention strategies focus on radiographic screening for patients above a certain age, or in those at high risk, removal of the breast tissues, a procedure that can lead to physical and mental hardship.  Few chemo-preventative compounds are approved and methods for determining which patients would benefit from these agents are lacking.  Thus, there is an urgent need for improved cancer prevention strategies for breast cancer.  The overall goal of the research being supported by the Terri Brodeur Breast Cancer Foundation is to evaluate novel cell types present in the breast tissues of women at increased risk of breast cancer as potential targets for breast cancer prevention.  In particular, we have developed a biobank of over 100 three-dimensional cultures derived from the breast tissues of patients with or without inherited mutations in breast cancer predisposition genes, including BRCA1 and BRCA2, as well as patients with a personal history of breast cancer or a positive family history.  Our goal is to determine the molecular pathways that are activated during the earliest stages of tumor development in specific cell subtypes, test therapeutic strategies to inhibit these pathways, and generate novel murine models that will facilitate translation of new breast cancer prevention strategies into the clinic.

Dr. Jennifer Rosenbluth received her medical degree from the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.  She performed her PhD studies in the laboratory of Dr. Jennifer Pietenpol and developed a strategy for treating triple-negative breast cancer by unleashing the tumor suppressor p73 to kill cancer cells.  She subsequently completed her medical residency at Massachusetts General Hospital and her oncology fellowship at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.  Her postdoctoral research studies were performed under the guidance of Dr. Joan Brugge at Harvard Medical School, where Dr. Rosenbluth developed new methods for studying premalignant breast epithelium using patient-derived three-dimensional breast organoid cultures. She is currently a medical oncologist at the Susan F. Smith Center for Women’s Cancers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, where she performs research with the goal of understanding the molecular mechanisms of breast cancer risk and developing new personalized strategies for breast cancer prevention.