Dr. Robert Clarke


Topic: Oncology, Physiology & Biophysics

Robert Clarke, Ph.D., D.Sc., F.S.Biol., F.R.S.Chem., F.R.S.Med. is Professor of Oncology and Professor of Physiology & Biophysics at Georgetown University in Washington, DC, and Co-Director of the Breast Cancer Program at the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center at Georgetown University. Dr. Clarke is also an Associate Vice President of Georgetown University Medical Center and Interim Director of its Biomedical Graduate Research Organization. An internationally recognized leader in breast cancer research, Dr. Clarke studies how hormones and growth factors affect breast cancer. Focusing initially on the interactions among hormones and anticancer drugs, his work expanded to include the cellular and molecular mechanisms that explain how breast cancers become resistant to hormone and cytotoxic therapies. He and his colleagues developed a series of hormone resistant breast cancer models that are widely used in the field. Dr. Clarke leads two N.I.H. funded centers at Georgetown University; a Center for Cancer Systems Biology funded through the Integrative Cancer Biology Program, and an In Silico Research Center of Excellence funded through the Cancer Biomedical Informatics Grid (caBIG) Program. Dr. Clarke is currently developing and applying novel bioinformatic methods in translational breast cancer studies. He and his collaborators have recently described a novel molecular signaling network that incorporates the unfolded protein response to endoplasmic reticulum stress. This signaling network contributes directly to the hormonal regulation of breast cancer cell proliferation and cell death. One key gene in this network is IRF1, which was first implicated in affecting hormone responsiveness and breast cancer cell survival in Dr. Clarke’s laboratory. His team has now shown that IRF1 is a new breast cancer suppressor gene. Other key network genes include XBP1, NFB, and BECN1 and select members of the BCL2 gene family. Dr. Clarke has authored/co-authored over 200 publications and has several patents, mostly in the field of breast cancer research. CV [pdf]