Yale School of Medicine Cell Biologist Named Bayer Fellow for 2005-2006

Bayer Pharmaceuticals Corp. has named Derek Toomre, assistant professor in the Department of Cell Biology at Yale School of Medicine, the Bayer Fellow in Medicine and Management for 2005-2006. He’s also Assistant Member, Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research.

Toomre’s cancer research focuses on applying new biophysical and computational methods to better understand the mechanisms of cellular morphogenesis associated with metastases. A central goal of this research is to provide key insight into how cancer cells can metastasize and escape from the confines of a polarized epithelium.

“By utilizing a combination of new biophysical imaging modalities, molecular manipulation, and novel methods of quantitative image analysis and computation this should reveal how and why known mutations in important proteins actually work,” Toomre said. “Molecular insight of mechanisms which promote cancer progression may aid in the generation of novel therapeutics for its treatment.”

Bayer in 2002 made a commitment to advance cutting-edge research at Yale School of Medicine through the Bayer Fellows in Medicine and Management program. Each year a research fellowship goes to a faculty member making significant advances in medicine or health care management. Of particular interest are the areas of oncology and cardiovascular health. Bayer’s long-standing interest in cardiovascular risk management emphasizes innovative therapies for heart disease, atherosclerosis and thrombosis.

In addition to supporting the work of the Bayer Fellows, the Bayer initiative fosters greater interaction between Yale scientists and Bayer colleagues through lectures and conferences on topics of shared interest.

Toomre obtained his Ph.D. in biochemistry at the University of California at San Diego. Prior to joining the Yale faculty in 2001, he was a post-doctoral fellow at the European Molecular Biology Laboratories in Heidelberg, Germany.

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