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BCRF Grantee Since

2008

Donor Recognition

The Clinique Award

Marsha A. Moses, PhD

Julia Dyckman Andrus Professor of Surgery, Harvard Medical School
Director, Vascular Biology Program, Boston Children's Hospital
Harvard Medical School
Boston, Massachusetts

Current Research

In order for a breast tumor to grow and spread it must build its own blood vessels by a process called angiogenesis. Without blood supply, a tumor cannot grow and will remain a tiny lesion, often doing no harm. The same is true when a tumor spreads to a different site (a process called metastasis): it must have blood vessels to grow and become established there. The goal of Dr. Moses’s work is to identify genes that are controlling these processes and develop ways to target them to treat early breast cancer lesions or tiny metastases before they become harmful. Towards this goal, Dr. Moses and her team have identified a gene that plays an essential role in blood vessel formation leading to the growth and spread of breast cancer cells in laboratory models. They have shown how dietary cholesterol increases tumor growth by promoting new blood vessel development. These studies were recently published in the American Journal of Pathology. Dr. Moses’s BCRF support has allowed her to pursue these and other studies that will lead to better early detection and treatment of breast cancer.

Bio

Dr. Marsha A. Moses has had a long-standing interest in the biochemical and molecular mechanisms that underlie the regulation of breast tumor growth and progression. Dr. Moses and her laboratory have discovered a number of angiogenesis inhibitors, some of which are being developed for preclinical use. Named a pioneer in the exciting field of Biomarker Medicine by the Journal of the NCI, Dr. Moses established a Proteomics Initiative that has led to the discovery of panels of noninvasive cancer biomarkers that can predict disease status and stage in cancer patients and that are sensitive and accurate markers of disease progression and therapeutic efficacy. A number of these urine tests have been made commercially available. These diagnostics and therapeutics are included in Dr. Moses’ significant patent portfolio.

Dr. Moses’ basic and translational work has been published in such many peer-reviewed. She received a PhD from Boston University and completed a National Institutes of Health postdoctoral fellowship at Boston Children's Hospital and MIT.. Dr. Moses was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies of the US in 2008 and to the National Academy of Inventors in 2013. She has been recognized with both of Harvard Medical School's mentoring awards, the A. Clifford Barger Mentoring Award (2003) and the Joseph B. Martin Dean’s Leadership Award for the Advancement of Women Faculty (2009). In 2013, Dr. Moses received the Honorary Member Award from the Association of Women Surgeons of the American College of Surgeons.