Sallie S. Schneider
Research areas include cancer (breast, ovarian, melanoma), analysis of histological effects and toxicities of therapeutics, nutraceutical development and testing, primary tissue and cell culture, cell signaling, and cell therapy.
My research group is primarily interested is in studying the signaling pathways that control abnormal development in the mammary gland and proteins/pathways that sensitize or target cancer cells to death. To this end my group focuses their studies in several areas 1) identification of earlier biomarkers for cancer risk or tumor development; 2) understanding the role of lifestyle choices and environmental exposures on gene expression and metabolic changes in the human breast; and 3) studying the impact of immune changes on cancer risk.
I am currently the Director of the Biospecimen Resource and Molecular Analysis Facility at the Pioneer Valley Life Sciences Institute. I have worked to collect a significant tissue resource of frozen and fixed normal breast tissue and I am currently re-directing some of my energies to create liaisons between researchers and surgeons to facilitate tissue collection for many types of research. I have used this resource for studying the role of Secreted Frizzled Related Protein family members in regulating cancer susceptibility in the breast as well as understanding pathways to human breast cancer susceptibility affected by parity, age and obesity. To date our research suggests that loss of SFRP1 is a critical early change that can identify women at high risk for developing proliferative lesions. Knock down and knock out studies have shown that loss of this protein makes cell resistant to apoptosis.
I have also used the human tissue bank to identify genetic, epigenetic and metabolic signatures associated with cancer risk factors in humans. I have been studying the inter-individual variation in responses to endocrine disrupting chemicals, such as oxybenzone. In particular we are interested in how it might prime the immune system to react in manners which might help the progression of cancer. Our data on parity in humans suggest that pregnancy may impart protection against cancer development through a stress-induced preconditioning which improves DNA repair as well as defense through immunological and anti-oxidative mechanisms.
Learn more at pvlsi.org/lab_schneider.php
- BA Skidmore College, 1986
- PhD University of Massachusetts, 1995