Deputy Chief, Women’s Malignancies Branch
Co-director, Office of Translational Research
Associate Director, Center for Cancer Research
National Cancer Institute
For her groundbreaking research on breast cancer metastasis, including the discovery of the first metastasis suppressor gene and development of a clinical-translational program for brain metastases.
The AACR-Women in Cancer Research Charlotte Friend Lectureship was established in 1998 in honor of renowned virologist and discoverer of the Friend virus, Charlotte Friend, PhD, for her pioneering research on viruses, cell differentiation, and cancer. This lectureship recognizes an outstanding female or male scientist who has made meritorious contributions to the field of cancer research and who has, through leadership or by example, furthered the advancement of women in science.
Steeg is best known for performing pioneering research on breast cancer metastasis. In 1988, she discovered the first metastasis suppressor gene, nm23 (NME). Her work demonstrated that the previously unknown NME gene is commonly downregulated in cells with increased metastatic potential. Steeg later cloned the NME family of genes and further characterized the biological and enzymatic activities of NME by conducting experiments in which she reintroduced NME into metastatic tumor cells. This innovative research has since helped to establish an entire field devoted to understanding the structure and function of metastasis suppressor genes. Steeg’s more recent research has been focused on investigating the biology of late-stage breast cancer and associated brain metastases. Specifically, her research lab is working to study the composition and function of the blood-tumor barrier in tumor metastasis, while also identifying signaling pathways and molecular targets that exhibit the capability to mediate brain metastasis. To learn more, please visit the press release.