Xandra Breakefield, PhD

Professor of Neurology
Massachussetts General Hospital
Neurogenetics Unit, CNY 6216

Biographical Sketch:
Xandra O. Breakefield, Ph.D., is Professor, Department of Neurology and Neuroscience Program, Harvard Medical School and Geneticist (Neurology and Radiology) Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA. She is former President of the American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy. She has served in related national functions as an advisor to the NIH DNA Recombinant Advisory Committee, the National Gene Vector Labs, the FDA and NIH Study Sections. She has recently been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. A major emphasis of her laboratory for the past 20 years has been on characterization of tumors of the nervous system and therapeutic intervention. They have used a number of viral vectors, including oncolytic herpes virus, as well as migratory neuroprecursor cells, for delivery of therapeutic proteins and pro-drug activating enzymes for experimental brain tumors. Recent work has focused on characterization of the nucleic acid content of extracellular vesicles (exosomes and microvesicles) released by brain tumor cells, including their use as biomarkers in the serum of glioma patients for evaluation of the genetic status of tumors, their ability to carry out horizontal gene transfer to other cells to promote tumor growth; and their potential for tumor therapy.
Papers:
S19 Microvesicles and Exosomes as Intercellular Communicators
S19-1 Extracellular Vesicles as Intercellular Communicators, Biomarkers and Therapeutic Vehicles