Andrea McClatchey, PhD

Researcher | 2012

As the Patricia and Scott Eston Research Scholar at Massachusetts General Hospital, Andrea McClatchey, PhD, was one of five faculty members selected from more than 120 researchers for the newly created prestigious Research Scholar Award. A professor of Pathology at Harvard Medical School, Dr. McClatchey is the first woman faculty member to achieve the rank of professor in the Center for Cancer Research. Her work has focused on the molecular basis of neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2), a familial cancer syndrome caused by mutation of the NF2 tumor suppressor gene. Patients with this gene are genetically predisposed to develop tumors that grow within the cranial and spinal nerves, particularly those of the ear, causing hearing loss and progressive neurological complications. Dr. McClatchey’s research uncovered fundamental rules by which contact between adjacent cells governs their proliferation and revealed that these rules are broken by many types of tumors. This may ultimately lead to new therapeutic approaches for individuals suffering from this disease and other human cancers, as well as a better appreciation of the link between normal development and cancer.

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