Joyce Schroeder

Research Interests

My laboratory focuses on the role of the erbB receptors in breast cancer progression, investigating modulators of their function and developing targeted therapeutics for their inhibition. We utilize human cell lines, transgenic and knockout mice, xenograft models and primary human tissues to perform studies into the trafficking, degradation and regulation of the erbB receptors, with an emphasis on the role of MUC1 and CD44 as modulators. My work as a graduate student and postdoctoral fellow focused on the role of the erbB receptors and MUC1 in mammary gland development and breast cancer progression. In my laboratory at the University of Arizona, we have furthered our understanding of the role of MUC1 in regulating EGFR during breast cancer progression, and developed a peptide-based therapeutic for the targeting of these interactions in cancer. We are now focused on the development of additional peptide-based therapeutics to target tumor-specific protein-protein interactions as well as investigating the mechanisms of MUC1-dependent transformation and metastasis. In addition, we are now investigating the role of polarity loss in mammary gland development and transformation. In the past 10 years, I have mentored 11 Ph.D. students (9 previous and 2 current) in my laboratory, and served on the dissertation committees of an additional 23 students. In addition to my undergraduate teaching (Cancer Biology), I also currently lead a graduate journal club on breast cancer and a cancer biology seminar series. Administrative roles have included Director of the Experimental Mouse Shared Service and co-leader of the scientific program in Cancer Biology at the Arizona Cancer Center. I am the co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer of a biotech start-up, Arizona Cancer Therapeutics, a company we created to bring our targeted therapeutics to clinical trials.