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BCRF Grantee Since

2007

Donor Recognition

The Play for P.I.N.K. Award

Area(s) of Focus

Mark I. Greene, MD, PhD, FRCP

John Eckman Professor of Medical Science
Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
Perelman School of Medicine
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Current Research

Dr. Greene’s BCRF research is focused on developing new therapeutic approaches to prevent, treat and eradicate breast cancer. Using methods developed in his laboratory, Dr. Greene’s team works to synthetically engineer novel drugs that target the family of erbB proteins, of which HER2 is a member. Ongoing studies have identified new potential drugs with low toxicity that block tumor growth in laboratory models of HER2 + and triple negative breast cancers. They are currently testing this new therapy in combination with molecules that activate the immune system to enhance the anti-tumor effect. Early findings have shown that this unique approach is effective in limiting growth of human breast tumors that have become resistant to therapy. Dr. Greene and his team are continuing to test the potential of this drug combination to completely arrest tumor development and even prevent tumor formation. They expect these strategies to reach the clinic in the near future.

Bio

Mark I. Greene received his MD and PhD from the University of Manitoba in Canada, and the FRCP from the Royal College in 1976. In 1976 Dr. Greene moved from Canada to Harvard University. Professor Greene was appointed Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School in 1978 and then Associate Professor in 1980. Greene was recruited to the University of Pennsylvania in 1986 as Professor of the Center of Receptor Biology. Dr. Greene was the Newton Abraham Professor of Medical Sciences, Oxford and is currently a trustee of the Abraham Research Trust Unit at the Dunn School and Oxford University.

Dr. Greene's laboratory developed an approach to target and down-modulate oncoproteins which, when expressed, were critical for abnormal growth. This simple approach developed in the neu system involved creating monoclonal antibodies specific for p185, the product of the neu gene that his laboratory. He also developed the use of disabling receptor complexes with two antibodies specific for distinct regions of the receptor proteins. This approach is now approved (Herceptin and Perjeta). The development of a therapy that is useful in resistant tumors provides important insight into why resistance emerges in the first place.

Dr. Greene has developed new orally available classes of targeted therapeutics that will function to treat both early and far advanced breast cancer with fewer toxicities.