Department of Pharmacology
and Chemical Biology
Renee D. Read
Dr. Renee Read completed her B.A. in Biology at Carleton College, with a research focus in developmental biology. She then trained in tyrosine kinase signal transduction as a research technician for two years following her undergraduate degree. Based on her education and her research experiences, Renee then decided to pursue a career at the intersection of developmental biology and cancer genetics. She completed her Ph.D. at Washington University at the School of Medicine in Developmental Biology with Dr. Ross Cagan, where she studied neural development and developed new models for Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia (MEN2) neural cancers using Drosophila melanogaster. These MEN2 models were successfully used in pre-clinical drug testing of new therapies that have since been FDA-approved for MEN2 patients, demonstrating the power of genetic model systems to advance cancer research.
Infiltrative Neoplastic Glial cells in the Drosophila Brain
Renee completed her postdoctoral training in developmental neurobiology and brain tumor biology at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies with Dr. John Thomas, an expert Drosophila neurogeneticist, and at the University of California – San Diego with Drs. Frank Furnari and Webster Cavenee, both expert brain tumor biologists and geneticists. During this time, Renee developed new models for glioblastoma (GBM) in Drosophila, demonstrating that the same genetic pathways that cause GBMs in humans cause these tumors in fruit flies. During her postdoc, she used these Drosophila GBM models to identify new pathways necessary for glial tumorigenesis. To study the function of these pathways in mammalian model systems, she trained with laboratories at the Salk, UCSD, and UCLA to learn to work with mouse and human GBM experimental model systems and experimental approaches, including patient-derived tumor stem cell cultures and mouse genetic models.
As faculty at Emory, Renee has worked towards a Masters in Public Health to facilitate her transition into translational research. She has forged collaborations with other neuro-oncology researchers and developed a multi-disciplinary research program designed to explore the genetics and cell biology of high grade gliomas using a range of experimental systems. Her lab also closely collaborates with neurosurgeons and other clinical faculty on translational research designed to identify and test new therapeutics for these deadly tumor types. The goal of her research is to identify new treatment strategies for high grade gliomas.
In her spare time, Renee enjoys live music concerts, nerdy podcasts, gardening, driving too fast, visiting with friends, and spending cozy time with her teenage daughters Gwen and Roxy and her family pets, Spotty the cat and Sandi the dog.