Yale and Pfizer launch visiting professorship pilot program

December 08, 2004

Yale School of Medicine and Pfizer Global Research have launched a pilot program to enhance scientific interactions between Pfizer and Yale.

The program also provides Yale faculty with an improved understanding of the drug discovery process in order to counsel its students more effectively on career opportunities in the pharmaceutical industry.

This novel visiting professorship program was developed and sponsored by Pfizer's Discovery Laboratories in Groton, the Women Leaders Network at Pfizer and the Office for Women in Medicine at Yale.

The first visiting professorship has been awarded to Yale researcher Nita Maihle, who will spend 12 weeks working with the research team at Pfizer Global Research and Development, Groton/New London Labs. Maihle, a professor in the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, will be matched with a Pfizer scientific collaborator.

"I am grateful for this opportunity and look forward to enhancing my own research program and facilitating associations among other Yale investigators and Pfizer staff," said Maihle, who is also affiliated with the Yale Cancer Center and is professor in the Departments of Pathology and Pharmacology at Yale.

"The vision for the program is to enhance the scientific understanding between Pfizer and Yale, and we have already seen how beneficial this interaction can be," said Karen Houseknecht, a Pfizer researcher and President of the Women's Leadership Network. "Dr. Maihle brings not only her scientific expertise to our labs, but she also serves as a role model for women in science, which is something that we value at Pfizer."

Maihle, who was recently elected chairperson of Women in Cancer Research Council of the American Association for Cancer Research, has devoted her career to developing a better understanding of what causes cancer. She also studies how to apply this information to improve methods for the care and treatment of cancer patients.

Over the past two decades, Maihle and her colleagues have discovered that the signals that cause cancer cells to grow are different from the signals that cause normal cells to grow. These "short circuits" in cancer cells can be used as drug targets to specifically stop cancer cells from growing. The new drugs Herceptin and Gleevac, are novel and specific agents for the treatment of cancer patients. There is a major effort at Pfizer and elsewhere to develop new agents of this type.

Maihle and her team have developed highly sensitive biochemical assays that may one day be useful for detecting cancer cells anywhere in the body with a simple blood test to detect a tumor long before it is clinically detectable. These assays allow even current treatments to be more effective.

The early detection studies in Maihle's laboratory are particularly advanced for breast and ovarian cancer patients, but also show promise for prostate, pancreatic and lung, as well as in certain brain tumor patients.
-end-
Yale and Pfizer plan to appoint additional visiting professorships in the future. To contact Pfizer, please call Alison Lehanski at 860-732-0670 or e-mail: alison.lehanski@pfizer.com

Yale University

Related Cancer Articles from Brightsurf:

New blood cancer treatment works by selectively interfering with cancer cell signalling
University of Alberta scientists have identified the mechanism of action behind a new type of precision cancer drug for blood cancers that is set for human trials, according to research published in Nature Communications.

UCI researchers uncover cancer cell vulnerabilities; may lead to better cancer therapies
A new University of California, Irvine-led study reveals a protein responsible for genetic changes resulting in a variety of cancers, may also be the key to more effective, targeted cancer therapy.

Breast cancer treatment costs highest among young women with metastic cancer
In a fight for their lives, young women, age 18-44, spend double the amount of older women to survive metastatic breast cancer, according to a large statewide study by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Cancer mortality continues steady decline, driven by progress against lung cancer
The cancer death rate declined by 29% from 1991 to 2017, including a 2.2% drop from 2016 to 2017, the largest single-year drop in cancer mortality ever reported.

Stress in cervical cancer patients associated with higher risk of cancer-specific mortality
Psychological stress was associated with a higher risk of cancer-specific mortality in women diagnosed with cervical cancer.

Cancer-sniffing dogs 97% accurate in identifying lung cancer, according to study in JAOA
The next step will be to further fractionate the samples based on chemical and physical properties, presenting them back to the dogs until the specific biomarkers for each cancer are identified.

Moffitt Cancer Center researchers identify one way T cell function may fail in cancer
Moffitt Cancer Center researchers have discovered a mechanism by which one type of immune cell, CD8+ T cells, can become dysfunctional, impeding its ability to seek and kill cancer cells.

More cancer survivors, fewer cancer specialists point to challenge in meeting care needs
An aging population, a growing number of cancer survivors, and a projected shortage of cancer care providers will result in a challenge in delivering the care for cancer survivors in the United States if systemic changes are not made.

New cancer vaccine platform a potential tool for efficacious targeted cancer therapy
Researchers at the University of Helsinki have discovered a solution in the form of a cancer vaccine platform for improving the efficacy of oncolytic viruses used in cancer treatment.

American Cancer Society outlines blueprint for cancer control in the 21st century
The American Cancer Society is outlining its vision for cancer control in the decades ahead in a series of articles that forms the basis of a national cancer control plan.

Read More: Cancer News and Cancer Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.