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Breast Cancer Research Lab
— Dr. David H. Gorski

Our Research

Our research focuses primarily on two areas, stemming firstly from a long-standing interest in tumor-induced angiogenesis and how best to target it therapeutically. Potential targets that we have studied include homeobox genes, master regulatory genes that can control vascular endothelial cell phenotype, and glutamatergic signaling. My second area of interest, which aligns with my clinical interest, is glutamatergic signaling as a potential therapeutic target in Triple Negative Breast Cancer (TNBC), a highly aggressive form of breast cancer that expresses neither estrogen receptor, progesterone receptor, nor amplified HER2. TNBC proportionally results in more breast cancer deaths because it metastasizes earlier and tends to recur after surgery. Unfortunately, the only current systemic therapy for TNBC is cytotoxic chemotherapy. We have found that glutamatergic signaling appears to be important in regulating TNBC growth and that targeting it in preclinical models has been successful in inhibiting the growth of TNBC xenografts. Finally, we have recently begun a collaboration with Manohar Ratnam, PhD in the Department of Oncology and investigators at Henry Ford Hospital to study the use of folate receptor-targeted imaging and treatment in TNBC.

Research Team

David H. Gorski, Ph.D., M.D., FACS
Medical Director
Alexander J. Walt Comprehensive Breast Center and Chief, Section of Breast Surgery

Title: Associate Professor of Surgery and Oncology, Wayne State University School of Medicine.

Office Address: Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute, HWCRC Rm. 832 (Lab) or HWCRC Rm. 640 (Office), 4100 John R., Detroit, MI, 48021

Phone: 1-313-576-8490 (Office), 1-313-576-9423 or 8997 (Lab)


Specialty: Breast and Oncologic Surgery

Research Interest: tumor-induced angiogenesis and glutamatergic signaling as a potential therapeutic target in triple negative breast cancer (TNBC)

Ph.D.: Cellular Physiology, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH
M.D.: University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, Michigan
B.S.: University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI

– Co-Medical Director, Michigan Breast Oncology Quality Initiative
– Co-Chair, Cancer Committee, Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Center
– American College of Surgeons Committee on Cancer (ACS CoC) Cancer Liaison Physician
– Conquer Cancer Foundation of ASCO and Breast Cancer Research Foundation Advanced Clinical Research Award in Breast Cancer, 2007.
-Co-Director of MiBOQI (Michigan Breast Oncology Quality Initiative), a state-wide initiative to improve the quality of breast cancer care using evidence-based guidelines that encompasses . MiBOQI was founded in 2006 and now encompasses 25 participating sites that range from community hospitals to NCI-designated comprehensive cancer centers, such as the University of Michigan and the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute, and 421 participating MDs, registering approximately 4,000 patients per year and over 150 cases/site/year.
– Managing Editor of the Science-Based Medicine weblog, as well as a once-weekly contributor. SBM exists to take a skeptical, science-based view of medicine in general and in particular the infiltration of pseudoscientific practices into medicine, even in academic medical centers.
– Selected media appearances and invited talks

Dr. Cecilia Speyer, Ph.D.
Cecilia Speyer, Ph.D.

Title: Assistant Professor, Department of Surgery, Wayne State University School of Medicine.

Office Address: Elliman Building Room 1221, 4100 John R., Detroit, MI, 48021

Phone: 1-313-576-8343 (Office), 1-313-576-8997 (Lab), 1-313-576-9322 (Fax)


Specialty: immunology and physiology
Ph.D.: Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, MI (Physiology and Immunology)
M.S.: Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, MI (Basic Medical Sciences)
B.S.: Oakland University, Rochester, MI (Biochemistry)
ASC in Science: Oakland Community College, Royal Oak, MI

Selected Publications

Kaur, H., S. Mao, S. Shah, D. H. Gorski, S. A. Krawetz, B. F. Sloane, and R. R. Mattingly (2013). Next-Generation Sequencing: A revolutionary tool for the discovery of molecular markers in breast ductal carcinoma in situ. Expert Rev. Mol. Diagn. 13:151-65.

Gorski, D. H. (2013). Complementary therapies in radiation oncology: Mixing cow pie with apple pie? Focus on Alternative and Complementary Therapies, in press.

Kosir, M. A., K. Bland, L. Choi, D. H. Gorski, M. S. Simon, and L. A. Chism (2013). When to refer to the breast surgeon in primary care practice. Advance, in press.

Speyer, C. L., J. S. Smith, M. Banda, T. Mekani, J. A. deVries, and D. H. Gorski (2012), Metabotropic Glutamate Receptor-1: A potential therapeutic target for the treatment of breast cancer. Breast Cancer Treat. Res.132:565-573.

Chen, Y., M. Banda, C. L. Speyer, A. B. Rabson, and D. H. Gorski (2010).
Regulation of the expression and activity of the antiangiogenic homeobox gene GAX/MEOX2 by ZEB2 through microRNA-221. Mol. Cell. Biol. 30:3902-3913.

Chen, Y., S. Patel, A. B. Rabson, and D. H. Gorski (2010). MEOX2 regulates nuclear factor-κB activity in vascular endothelial cells through interactions with p65 and IκBβ. Cardiovasc. Res.87:723-731.

Chen, Y. and D. H. Gorski (2008). Regulation of angiogenesis through a microRNA (miR-130a) that downregulates antiangiogenic homeobox genes Gaxand HOXA5. Blood 111:1217-1226.


“Quackademic Medicine: How pseudoscience is infiltrating medical academia.” CSICon, Nashville, TN, October 26, 2012.

“Cancer quackery: Testimonials, anecdotes, and pseudoscience,” Lorne Trottier Public Science Symposium, Office for Science and Society, McGill University, Montreal, ON, Canada, October 18, 2010 (

“Quackademic medicine: The infiltration of pseudoscience into medicine,” Joint meeting of the Center for Inquiry-Chicago, Chicago Skeptics, and Women Thinking Free Foundation, Chicago, IL, August 21, 2010.


Podcast interview on Consequence, January 14, 2013. Episode 8: The Burzynski Clinic.

Radio interview on Skeptically Speaking, CJSR 88.5 FM, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, October 21, 2012. Topic: “The C Word.” (

Radio interview, KPFK 90.7 FM Pacifica Radio Los Angeles, August 17, 2012: Topic: A Surgical Oncologist Speaks Out on the Perils of Alternative Cancer Therapies.

Radio interview, CIUT 89.5 FM, Toronto, ON, January 13, 2012. Topic: Alternative medicine.

Radio interview on The Frank Beckmann Show, News Talk Radio WJR 760, Detroit, July 5, 2011. Topic: The FDA ruling on Avastin.

Radio interview on The Dr. Joe Schwarcz Show, News Talk Radio CJAD 1010 AM Montreal, June 19, 2011. Topic: Various issues in quackery and pseudoscience in medicine; breast cancer and mammography.

Television interview on WDIV Local 4 News Detroit. Topic: Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, May 21, 2011.

Television interview on FOX 2 Detroit News, “The Doctor Is In” segment, May 18, 2011. Topic Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure.

Radio interview on The Tommy Schnurmacher Show, News Talk Radio CJAD 1010 AM Montreal, October 18, 2010. Topics: Skepticism, pseudoscience, and quackery, with Dr. Joseph Schwarcz and Dr. Michael Shermer.

Radio interview on The Warren Pierce Show, Newstalk WJR 760 AM Detroit, October 2, 2010. Topic: Breast cancer, nutrition, and prevention.

Research Interest: metabotropic glutamate receptor-1 (mGluR1) in breast cancer