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(Other current news and archived releases from the Jefferson Health System are available.)

Landenberger Professorship Established at Jefferson

(PHILADELPHIA) The Margaret Q. Landenberger Research Foundation of Palm Beach, FL, and Philadelphia, has established the Margaret Q. Landenberger Professorship in Breast Cancer Research at Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson's Kimmel Cancer Center in Philadelphia. Cell biologist Michael P. Lisanti, M.D., Ph.D., has been named the first Landenberger Professor.

Dr. Lisanti currently is professor of cancer biology at Jefferson Medical College. Few cell biologists can point to research with such wide-reaching implications as Dr. Lisanti, who is an expert in the field of caveolae and caveolin proteins. These proteins, which play important roles in cell communication, are also involved in the development of a number of diseases and conditions, such as cancer, atherosclerosis, diabetes, Alzheimer's disease and muscular dystrophy. Dr. Lisanti's research has focused primarily on caveolin-1, the most abundant and widespread of the caveolin proteins. His work provides the best evidence to date that caveolin-1 functions as a tumor suppressor - that is, it blocks the development of tumors - in mammalian cells.

Recently, his group was among the first to create a mouse strain lacking the caveolin-1 gene, establishing a model system to study the role of the loss of caveolin-1 in breast cancer development. His team found that a known mutation in the caveolin-1 gene is present in approximately 19 percent of all breast cancers that are fed by estrogen - so-called "estrogen receptor-positive" cells.

A recipient of many awards and honors, Dr. Lisanti is the 13th most cited scientist in biochemistry and biology in the scientific literature in the last decade. Dr. Lisanti came to Jefferson in 2005 from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, where he was professor of molecular pharmacology and medicine.

Brown Brothers Harriman Trust Company, N.A., which serves as the Corporate Trustee for the foundation, was instrumental in establishing the professorship.

Published: 10/07
Contact: Steve Benowitz or Jackie Kozloski
Thomas Jefferson University
(215) 955-6300
After Hours: (215) 955-6060