Led by Steven S. Rosenfeld, MD, PhD at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University’s Brain Tumor Center
The Gary Lichtenstein Memorial Grant
In the second year of a grant from VABC, the Brain Tumor Center has grown to be one of the largest in the Northeast with the addition of 10 phase I, II, and III clinical trials that are or will soon be available for patients. Columbia has also been invited to join a new national, multi-institutional brain cancer clinical investigative consortium, as a direct result of their success in attracting pharmaceutical and biotech companies to be included in their trials. Finally, the Center’s research has led to the discovery of GBM’s sensitivity to Sutent, an FDA-approved anti-cancer drug. Dr. Rosenfeld will start treating GBM patients with Sutent in order to determine the effectiveness of this medication.
|“The investment that VABC has made in our program has been leveraged into a much larger return, and we fully expect that with further support from VABC, we will continue to grow rapidly and provide our patients with more state of the art therapies.”
- Steven S. Rosenfeld, MD, PhD
VABC grant recipient
From the desk of Steven S. Rosenfeld, M.D. Ph.D.
Professor of Pathology, Neurology, Anatomy & Cell Biology, Columbia University Medical Center and Chief, Division of Neuro-Oncology & Co-Director, The NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital Brain Tumor Center
My laboratory is interested in understanding at a molecular level how the physiologic requirements placed on an enzyme shape its function. We are addressing this concern by focusing on a group of enzymes called “molecular motors”. These enzymes drive a wide variety of physiologic processes, from whole cell motility to vesicle transport to separation of the chromosomes during mitosis. As such, they represent potential targets for the development of new therapies for diseases characterized by abnormal cell motility and cell growth, such as cancer. We utilize a variety of spectroscopic methodologies, including fluorescence resonance energy transfer, fluorescence anisotropy decay, and resonance Raman spectroscopy to examine how functionally important domains within motors contribute to generating force and movement. We also combine these structurally-sensitive probes with transient state kinetics to determine the timing and sequence of conformational changes in each motor’s mechanochemical cycle.
I have largely focused my research on two classes of molecular motors–the myosins and kinesins. Current research in my laboratory on myosin is examining the sequence of structural changes that occur in transport myosins, such as myosins V and VI, that explain how these motors are capable of moving long distances on actin filaments without dissociating–a feature called “processivity”. My work on the kinesin family of motors has largely focused on the mechanisms of processivity of kinesin I. However, I have more recently been interested in studying those kinesins that drive formation of the mitotic spindle, referred to as “mitotic” kinesins.
Finally, I am applying the spectroscopic assays of motor function developed in my laboratory to a microtiter well platform, in collaboration with investigators at the University of Pittsburgh, to screen for small molecule inhibitors of mitotic kinesins, which may ultimately be applicable clinically as inhibitors of mitosis.
From Steven S. Rosenfeld, M.D. Ph.D.
Over the course of this period of time, we have accomplished the following:
Click here for a full list of research grants funded by Voices Against Brain Cancer.