Susann M. Brady-Kalnay, Ph.D., is a Full Professor at Case Western Reserve University in the departments of Molecular Biology and Microbiology, Neurosciences, Pathology and Division of General Medical Sciences/Oncology. She studies cell adhesion molecules in cancer progression, with an emphasis on studying the disregulation of the molecule PTPRM in Glioblastoma multiforme.
Brady-Kalnay graduated from the University of Dayton with Honors in 1987. She received her Ph.D. in 1991 from the Anatomy and Cell Biology department of the University of Cincinnati. Her postdoctoral training was conducted in the laboratory of Nicholas K. Tonks, Ph.D., at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. In 1995, Brady-Kalnay joined the Department of Molecular Biology and Microbiology at Case Western Reserve University as an Assistant Professor, and in 2010 was promoted to tenured Full Professor. Brady-Kalnay also has secondary academic appointments in the departments of Neurosciences, Pathology, and the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Brady-Kalnay has served two terms on the leadership committee of the National Cancer Biology Training Consortium, in 2009-2010 as Vice President and Treasurer, and in 2010-2011 as Vice President and Secretary. She currently is chair of the Diversity Recruitment Committee. She has served as an external reviewer for many journal articles and has been an invited guest editor for a special issue of the journal Cell Adhesion and Migration. Brady-Kalnay has also reviewed grant applications for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), The Broad Foundation Medical Research Program, The Wellcome Trust of London, U.K., The Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research, The Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research, and the U.S. Department of Defense’s Army Prostate Cancer Research Program.
Brady-Kalnay’s dissertation work, on the role of the cell adhesion molecule, N-CAM, in regulating motility of Rous Sarcoma Virus-transformed retinal cells, was conducted in the laboratory of Dr. Robert Brackenbury. While a postdoctoral fellow, Brady-Kalnay characterized a novel member of the Receptor Protein Tyrosine Phosphatase (RPTP) family, PTPmu (PTPµ), also known as PTPRM. Brady-Kalnay identified that PTPmu interacts with several classical (type I) cadherins, including CDH1 E-cadherin, CDH2 N-cadherin, and CDH4 R-cadherin.
In her own laboratory, Brady-Kalnay and her colleagues discovered that PTPµ protein levels are reduced in tissue taken from glioblastoma multiforme patients compared to controls. Brady-Kalnay and her colleagues demonstrated that PTPµ is proteolytically cleaved into multiple fragments in glioblastoma multiforme tissue to result in a fragment of PTPµ that is shed into the extracellular environment and another fragment, containing the PTP domain, that is released from the membrane into the cytoplasm. This work was highlighted by the NIH. Feature articles were written about this finding. Further examination of the function of the cleaved PTPµ led to the discovery that a fluorescent probe that binds to the shed extracellular fragment of PTPµ could be used to visualize the main tumor mass and dispersive cells in glioblastoma multiforme.
Brady-Kalnay received the Albert Ryan Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship and a Goldring Postdoctoral Fellowship. In 2008, she was awarded the Tabitha Yee May Lou Endowment for Brain Cancer Research. In 2011, Brady-Kalnay was awarded the Special Achievement Award from the National Alumni Association at the University of Dayton.
Brady-Kalnay is the author of over 45 peer-reviewed articles and several book chapters.
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