Full Affiliate Member, Research Institute
Dr. Andrew Dannenberg is the Henry R. Erle, MD-Roberts Family Professor of Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College. He received his medical degree from Washington University in St. Louis and served as a medical resident and gastroenterology fellow at The New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center. His research focuses on the mechanisms underlying the inflammation-cancer connection in multiple organs. Dr. Dannenberg has authored more than 150 scientific articles, and edited several books and journals. In 2011, he was awarded the American Association for Cancer Research-Prevent Cancer Foundation award for excellence in cancer prevention research. He is a member of the Association of American Physicians, the American Society for Clinical Investigation, and the American Association for Cancer Research. He previously chaired the Program Committee of the AACR "Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research" meeting and serves on the editorial boards of several journals including Cancer Prevention Research and the Journal of Clinical Oncology.
Dr. Dannenberg’s research is focused on the connection between chronic inflammation and cancer with an emphasis on prostaglandin (PG) biology. The long-term goal of this research is to develop evidence-based strategies to decrease inflammation and reduce the risk of developing cancer.
Human cancers, premalignant lesions and chronic inflammatory states (e.g. ulcerative colitis), are identified in which the expression of enzymes involved in PG biosynthesis (cyclooxygenase-2, COX-2), catabolism (15-hydroxyprostaglandin dehydrogenase) or transport (PGT) is deregulated. The signal transduction pathways that control the expression of these genes in normal and diseased tissues are then explored. In this way, the mechanisms by which PGs impact wound healing or stimulate the formation and progression of tumors are being defined.
As second major focus of the research program is hormone receptor-positive breast cancer, and a key signaling pathway by which PGE2 induces cytochrome P450 aromatase, the enzyme that catalyzes the synthesis of estrogens from androgens. Pharmacological and genetic studies are used to assess the impact of targeting specific molecules involved in PG synthesis on tumor formation and growth. The contribution of body mass and diet to changes in PG levels, inflammation and the expression of genes implicated in carcinogenesis is also being explored. Given the link between chronic colitis and colon cancer, a major goal is to identify PG-responsive genes that play key roles in colorectal mucosal homeostasis, and biomarkers that may reflect inflammation and cancer prognosis.