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Breast Cancer Research Lab
— Dr. Cecelia Speyer


For the past five years, my collaborator and I have identified and established a role for the metabotropic glutamate receptor-1 (mGluR1) in breast cancer. Our specific focus includes i) determining the mechanism and novel pathways by which mGluR1 regulates the angiogenic process in endothelial cells ii) examining the molecular pathways by which mGluR1 mediates growth and metastatic properties of breast cancer cells iii) elucidating the mGluR1-dependent and independent role of the drug, Riluzole, in regulating breast tumor progression iv) examining the anti-inflammatory properties of mGluR1 and Riluzole within the tumor microenvironment.

My past research focus has been in the area of inflammation where I discovered the expression of novel chemokine receptors on neutrophils in sepsis. These findings have shed light on the concept of neutrophil subsets in various chronic inflammatory diseases such as sepsis, autoimmune diseases, and cancer. Currently, my laboratory’s focus is expanding into the area of tumor inflammation where we are examining the role and function of the various PMN subsets, their expression of various receptors (CC chemokine, mGluR1), and the role of the receptors themselves within the tumor microenvironment in the hopes of identifying targets for the therapeutic treatment of breast cancer. 


Cecilia Speyer, Ph.D.
Principal Investigator, Breast Cancer Research Lab

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

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

Research Members

Ali Hachem
Labaratory Assistant
B.S., UofM – Dearborn, MI, U.S.A.
Fall 2011 to present

Ali Assi
Student Assistant
Undergraduate student at UofM – Dearborn, MI, U.S.A.
Winter 2012 to present

Miriam Bukhsh
Student Assistant
Undergraduate student at UofM – Dearborn, MI, U.S.A.
Spring 2012 to present

Mahdy Nassar
Laboratory Assistant
B.S. of Arts and History
B.S. of Science (Biochemistry)
Winter 2013 to present


Speyer, C.L., Hachem, A.H., Assi, A.A., Johnson, J.S., DeVries, J.A., and Gorski, D.H. Metabotropic glutamate receptor-1 as a novel target for the antiangiogenic treatment of breast cancer. PLOS ONE (submitted)

Banda, M., Speyer, C.L., Semma, S.N., Kingsley, O., Kim, H.J., Kounalaskis, N., Torres, K.E., Barnard, N.J., Sloane, B.F., Miller, F.R., Goydos, J.S., and Gorski, D.H. Metabotropic glutamate receptor-1 signaling is oncogenic in triple negative breast cancer. PLOS ONE (submitted)

Speyer, C.L., Smith, J.S., Banda, M., Mekani, T., Gorski, D.H. Metabotropic Glutamate receptor-1: A potential therapeutic target in triple negative breast cancer. Breast Cancer Res Treat, 132, 565-573, 2012.

Speyer, C.L. and Ward, P.A. Role of Endothelial Chemokines and their Receptors during Inflammation. J Invest Surg, 24(1), 18-27, 2011.

Chen, Y., Banda, M., Speyer, C.L., Smith, J.S., Rabson, A., and Gorski, D.H. Regulation of the expression and activity of the antiangiogenic homeobox gene GAX/MEOX2 by ZEB2 and microRNA-221. Mol Cell Biol, 20(15), 3902-13, 2010.

Gao, H., Neff, TA, Guo, R., Speyer, CL, Sarma, JV, Tomlins, S, Man, Y, Riedemann, NC, Hoesel, LM, Younkin, E, Zetoune, FS, and Ward, PA. Evidence for a functional role of the second C5a receptor C5L2. FASEB J, 19(8), 1003-5, 2005

Neff, T.A., Guo, R.F., Neff, S.B., Sarma, J.V., Speyer, C.L., Gao, H., Bernacki, K.D., Huber-Lang, M., McGuire, S., Hoesel, M., Riedemann, N.C., Beck-Schimmer, B., Zetoune, F.S., and Ward, P.A. Relationship of Acute Lung Inflammatory Injury to Fas/FasL System. Am J Path, 166, 685-694, 2005

Speyer, C.L., Rancilio, N.J., McClintock, S.D., *Crawford, J.D., Gao, H., Sarma, J.V., and Ward, P.A. Regulatory effects of estrogen on acute lung inflammation in mice. Am J Physiol Cell Physiol, 288, C881-890, 2005

Speyer, C.L., Gao, H., Rancilio, N.J., Neff, T.A., Huffnagle, G.B., Sarma, J.V., and Ward, P.A. Novel chemokine responsiveness and mobilization of neutrophils during sepsis. Am J Path, 165, 1-10, 2005

Warner, R.L., Winter, H.C., Speyer, C.L., Varani, J., Goldstein, I.J., Murphy, H.S., and Johnson, K.J. Marasmius oreades lectin induces renal thrombotic microangiopathic lesions. Exp. Molec. Pathol, 77, 77-84, 2004

Gao, H., Guo, R., Speyer, C.L., Reuben, J., Neff, T.A., Hoesel, L.M., Riedemann, N.C., McClintock, S.D., Sarma, J.A., Rooijen, N.V., Zetoune, F.S., and Ward, P.A. Stat3 activation in acute lung injury. J Immun, 172 (12), 7703-12, 2004

Laudes, I.J., Guo, R.F., Riedemann, N.C., Speyer, C., Craig, R., Sarma, J.V., and Ward, P.A. Disturbed homeostasis of lung intercellular adhesion molecule-1 and vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 during sepsis. Am J Pathol. 164, 1435-45, 2004

Riedemann, N.C., Guo, R.F., Hollmann, T.J., Gao, H., Neff, T.A., Reuben, J.S., Speyer, C.L., Sarma, J.V., Wetsel, R.A., Zetoune, F.S., and Ward, P.A. Regulatory role of C5a in LPS-induced IL-6 production by neutrophils during sepsis. FASEB J. 18, 370-2, 2004

Speyer, C.L., Neff, T.A., Warner, R.L., Guo, R.F., Sarma, J.V., Riedemann, N.C., Murphy, M.E., Murphy, H.S. and Ward, P.A. Regulatory effects of iNOS on acute lung inflammatory responses in mice. Am J Pathol. 163, 2319-28, 2003

Riedemann, N.C., Guo, R.F., Bernacki, K.D., Reuben, J.S., Laudes, I.J., Neff, T.A., Gao, H., Speyer, C.L., Sarma, V.J., Zetoune, F.S., and Ward, P.A. Regulation by C5a of neutrophil activation during sepsis. Immunity. 19, 193-202, 2003

Herskovic, J.J., Speyer, C.L., Simples, J.E., Steffes, C.P. and Ram, J.L. Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) enhancement of outward current in lung pericytes. Lung 180, 215-220, 2002

Laudes, I.J., Chu, J.C., Huber-Lang, M., Guo, R.F., Riedemann, N.C., Sarma, J.V., Mahdi, F., Murphy, H.S., Speyer, C., Lu, K.T., Lambris, J.D., Zetoune, F.S., and Ward, P.A. Expression and function of C5a receptor in mouse microvascular endothelial cells. J Immun. 169, 5962-5970, 2002

Riedemann, N.C., Guo, R.F., Sarma, V.J., Laudes, I.J., Huber-Lang, M., Warner, R.L., Albrecht, E.A., Speyer, C.L., and Ward, P.A. Expression and function of the C5a receptor (C5aR) in rat alveolar epithelial cells. J Immun. 168, 1919-25, 2002

Speyer, C.L., Steffes, C.P., Tyburski, J.G., Homan, R., and Ram, J.L. Lipopolysaccharide-induced secretory phospholipase A2 activity in pericytes: a possible mechanism for mediating relaxation. Microvasc Res. 63, 239-242, 2002

Kerkar, S., Speyer C., Tyburski, J. and Steffes, C. Reactive oxygen metabolites induce a biphasic contractile response in microvascular lung pericytes. J Trauma. 51, 440-5, 2001

Dente, C.J., Steffes, C.P., Speyer C.L., and Tyburski, J.G. Pericytes augment the capillary barrier in in-vitro cocultures. J Surg Res. 97, 85-91, 2001

Speyer, C.L. Regulation of LPS-induced relaxation in the rat lung pericyte. Dissertation, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI, 2000

Speyer, C.L., Steffes, C.P., Tyburski, J.G., and Ram, J.L. Lipopolysaccharide induces relaxation in lung pericytes by an iNOS-independent mechanism. Am J Physiol: Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 278, L880-L887, 2000

Speyer, C.L., Steffes, C.P., and Ram, J.L. Effects of vasoactive mediators on the rat lung pericyte: quantitative analysis of contraction on collagen lattice matrices. Microvasc Res. 57, 134-143, 1999

Purchase, C.L., II, White, A.D., Anderson, M.K., Bocan, T.M.A., Bousley, R.F., Hamelehle, K.L., Homan, R., Krause, B.R., Lee, P., Bak-Mueller, S., Speyer, C., Stanfield, R.L. and Reindel, J.F. Tetrazole-substituted ureas as inhibitors of acyl-CoA:cholesterol O- acyltransferase (ACAT). A novel preparation of ureas from weakly nucleophilic amines. Bioorganic Med. Chem. Lett. 6, 1753-1758, 1996

Lee, H.T., Sliskovic, D.R., Picard, J.A., Roth, B.D., Wierenga, W., Hicks, J.L., Bousley, R.F., Hamelehle, K.L., Homan, R., Speyer, C., Stanfield, R.L. and Krause, B.R. Inhibitors of acyl-CoA:cholesterol O-acyltransferase (ACAT) as hypocholesterolemic agents. CI-1011: an acyl sulfamate with unique cholesterol-lowering activity in animals fed noncholesterol-supplemented diets. J. Med. Chem. 39, 5031-5034, 1996


Invited speaker for the Breast Cancer Biology & Proteases and Cancer Joint Retreat Program (December 14, 2010)

Invited speaker for the Biological Sciences Departmental Seminar Series at University of Michigan – Flint (June 29, 2010)

Invited lecturer (gastrointestinal immunology) for the Department of Physiology at Wayne State University School of Medicine (April 2007 to 2008)

Invited speaker for the 2005 Physiology Department Graduate Student Day Program at Wayne State University School of Medicine

Invited presenter for the Northville Public School’s Career Day Seminar Series 2002

Dissertation presentation and defense in the Physiology Department at Wayne State University School of Medicine 2000