Professor, Department of Pharmacology and Chemical Biology, University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, Director of Education, Women's Cancer Research Center, Magee-Womens Research Institute
The main interest of Dr Oesterreich’s laboratory is to further our understanding of hormone action in breast cancer, with the goal to use this knowledge for improved diagnosis and endocrine treatment of breast cancer patients. Specifically, her group studies how the estrogen receptor (ER) functions, how its activity is regulated by co-activator and co-repressor proteins, and if and how these mechanisms are perturbed in cancer cells. The lab is interested in novel concepts of ER action, such as its role in repression of gene transcription, and the involvement of higher order chromatin structure in hormone response. The Oesterreich lab aims to identify genetic markers such as polymorphisms, or epigenetic changes such as DNA methylation, which might be able to predict a patient’s response to endocrine therapy, which can be used to “personalize medicine”. All of these studies include many aspects of translational breast cancer research utilizing basic biochemistry, molecular and cell biology, cell lines, mouse models and clinical samples from retrospective cohort studies, and from clinical trials.