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Research Faculty - Cory Abate-Shen, Ph.D.

Cory Abate-Shen, Ph.D.

After obtaining a B.A. in Psychology, Summa Cum Laude at Fordham University, Dr. Abate-Shen attended graduate school at Cornell University Medical College. She obtained her Ph.D. in Neurobiology under the guidance of Dr. Tong Joh in 1987 and was the recipient of the prestigious Vincent du Vigneaud Award for Excellence in Graduate Research. Dr. Abate-Shen pursued her postdoctoral training with Dr. Tom Curran at the Roche Institute of Molecular Biology. Her highly productive post-doctoral career included seminal observations on the redox regulation of the protooncoproteins Fos and Jun, which inspired many subsequent studies on the redox control of other transcriptional regulatory proteins.

Dr. Abate-Shen began her independent career in 1991 as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Neuroscience and Cell Biology and the Center for Advanced Biotechnology and Medicine, UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. She rose through the ranks quickly and was appointed to Associate Professor with tenure in 1997, Professor in 2001, and Chief of a new Division in the Department of Medicine in 2002. In addition, Dr. Abate-Shen created the Prostate Program for the Cancer Institute of New Jersey and served as its co-leader from 1999.

In September 2007, Dr. Abate-Shen joined the faculty of Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons as Professor and Director or Research in the Department of Urology and a member of the Herbert Irving Cancer Center.

Dr. Abate-Shen's research program focuses on the molecular mechanisms of homeobox genes in development and cancer. Her major research interests have included deciphering the molecular bases of homeoprotein specificity, and her laboratory has recently contributed groundbreaking insights regarding the fundamental question of how homeoproteins achieve target gene recognition in vivo. Furthermore, her interests in elucidating the roles of homeobox genes in cancer have led to the development of mouse models of prostate cancer that have been widely utilized for investigating the molecular bases of prostate tumorigenesis as well as pre-clinical models for intervention and therapy.

Dr. Abate-Shen has been the recipient of several awards, including a Sinsheimer Scholar Award, an NSF Young Investigator Award and the Women in Cell Biology Junior Award from the American Society for Cell Biology. She has been highly successful in obtaining federal grant funding and is currently the principal investigator on five federal grants including an NCI consortium grant on Mouse Models of Human Cancer. In addition, she has received funding from several other sources including the March of Dimes, the New Jersey Commission on Cancer Research and the Gustave and Louise Pfeiffer Research Foundation.

Dr. Abate-Shen has been invited to present her work at more than fifty institutions and conferences in the United States and in Europe and has organized symposia, scientific conferences and "think tanks" for the American Association of Cancer Research (AACR), the Jackson Laboratories and the NCI. She has contributed influential and highly cited reviews for journals such as Nature Reviews Cancer, Genes and Development and Cancer Cell. Dr. Abate-Shen was a member of the NIH study section CDF-4 from 1998 to 2002 and currently serves on the Board of Scientific Advisers of the National Cancer Institute. She also serves on the editorial board of Molecular and Cellular Biology and is an Associate Editor of Cancer Research.

As a teacher and mentor, Dr. Abate-Shen has trained eight Ph.D. students, eighteen postdoctoral fellows and numerous medical and undergraduate students. Most of her trainees have been successful in receiving grant funding, obtaining independent positions in academia or industry and have been the recipients of numerous awards including travel fellowships from the AACR and the Stanley Bergen Award for Excellence in Graduate Research.

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