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Emer M. Smyth, PhD

Abramson Cancer Center

Degree and Institution

PhD, Pharmacology, National University of Ireland, University College, Dublin

Faculty Title

Research Associate Professor

Administrative Title

Member, Institute for Translational Medicine and Therapeutics, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
Member, Cardiovascular Institute, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

Research Expertise

Cyclooxygenase (COX) -2, and one of its products prostaglandin (PG) E2, are established as pro-tumorigenic. COX-2 is induced during inflammation and increased levels are associated with poor prognosis in cancer. COX inhibition with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) consistently reduces incidence, recurrence and/or mortality in breast and other cancers. NSAIDs that are selective for COX-2 show clinical efficacy but their use is limited because of an associated increase in thrombembolic events. This hazard emerges because of collateral suppression of vascular prostacyclin (PGI2), an anti-thrombotic mediator, during systemic COX-2 inhibition. Our research program aims to define therapeutic strategies to safety target COX-2 and PGE2 in breast cancer. We have a particular emphasis in understanding the paracrine and autocrine functions COX-2-derived mediators within the tumor microenvironment. We use mouse models of targeted deletion of COX-2 and downstream enzymes in distinct cell types to dissect the complexities of tumor-stromal interplay. We are also interested in understanding the thrombotic complications that accompany malignancy and deciphering the role of platelets in tumorigenesis.

Other Affiliations
American Society for Cancer Research
American Heart Association
American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
American Heart Association

Honors and Awards

  • 2007-2008, Chemical Biology in Translation Pilot Award, Transdisciplinary Program in Translational Medicine and Therapeutics, University of Pennsylvania
  • 2005-2006, Abramson Cancer Center Pilot Project Award, University of Pennsylvania
  • 2004-2005, University Research Foundation Award, University of Pennsylvania
  • 1999, Traveling Fellowship, Annual Meeting of American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, San Francisco, CA
  • 1997, Traveling Fellowship, 17th International Congress of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and Annual Meeting of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, San Francisco, CA
  • 1999-2001, Beginning Grant-in-Aid #9906209U, American Heart Association, Pennsylvania-Delaware Affiliate
  • 1996-1998, Beginning Grant-in-Aid #9906209U, American Heart Association, Pennsylvania-Delaware Affiliate
  • 1990-1994, Forbairt (Irish Science and Technology agency), Basic Research Grant, The Wellcome Trust, Research Assistantship

Publications
Click here to see my publications

Contact Information

Researcher/Clinician:
Emer M. Smyth, PhD
Institute for Translational Medicine and Therapeutics
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
Room 10-104, Translational Research Center
3400 Civic Center Blvd
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Office Phone: (215) 573-2323
Lab: 215-898-0255