Four-Year $720,000 Grant will Enable Stern College’s Marina Holz to Investigate Breast Cancer Cell Growth

The American Cancer Society, the largest non-government, not-for-profit funding source of cancer research in the United States, has awarded Dr. Marina Holz, assistant professor of biology at Yeshiva University’s Stern College for Women, a $720,000 Research Scholar Grant. The four-year grant will be used to continue her work researching how the mTOR pathway affects the growth of estrogen-receptor positive breast cancer.

Marina Holz

Dr. Marina Holz has been awarded a $720,000 Research Scholar Grant.

Holz is studying how the growth factor and estrogen receptor (ER) signaling pathways co-regulate each other. Clinically, up to 60 percent of breast cancers are ER-positive and display a dependence on estrogen for cancer cell growth. ER-positive cancers can be targeted therapeutically by endocrine therapy, but resistance often develops. The goal of Holz’s research is to identify how the mTOR pathway, a central integrator of growth signals in the cells, regulates the growth of ER-positive cells and whether targeting mTOR could hinder the proliferation of cancer cells. She also seeks to create effective combination therapeutic strategies.

Holz has taught at YU since 2007 and holds joint appointments in the Department of Molecular Pharmacology at YU’s Albert Einstein College of Medicine and the Einstein Cancer Center. She earned her Ph.D. from HarvardUniversity before moving to Yeshiva to start her own lab. She has been very productive, publishing steadily as a senior author and receiving several federal and foundation grants.

The American Cancer Society’s research program is designed to identify and fund the most innovative cancer research and the best scientists and health care professionals through high quality, independent peer review.