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Kathleen C. Flanders, Ph.D.

Portait Photo of Kathleen Flanders
Laboratory of Cancer Biology and Genetics
Cancer Biology of TGF-beta Section
Staff Scientist
Center for Cancer Research
National Cancer Institute
Building 37, Room 5046B
Bethesda, MD 20892-4255


Dr. Kathleen Flanders received a in chemistry from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a Ph.D. in biological chemistry from Indiana University. Following a post-doctoral fellowship at Case Western Reserve University, she joined the National Cancer Institute in the laboratory of Dr. Anita Roberts in 1985. Since then her research has focused on various aspects of transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) biology. She currently works in the tumor suppressor group under the direction of Dr. Lalage Wakefield.


Dr. Flanders developed some of the first isoform-specific antibodies to TGF-beta to be widely used in immunohistochemistry. She has extensive experience in analysis of components of the TGF-beta signaling pathway in tissues relating to many in vivo models of wound healing and disease pathogenesis. She has studied the role of TGF-beta and its signaling intermediate, Smad3, in chornic fibrotic conditions such as radiation-induced fibrosis showing that loss of Smad3 inhibits fibrosis. These results suggest that development of small molecule inhibitors of Smad3 may be useful as potential anti-fibrotic therapeutic agents. She is currently interested in the tumor microenvironment and is investigating the potential involvement of TGF-beta in mediating the condition of high mammographic density (HMD)which is a significant risk factor for breast cancer. Development of a mouse model of HMD as well as analysis of TGF-beta pathway components in human HMD samples are currently underway. The signaling pathways activated by TGF-beta isoforms in human mammary fibroblasts in vitro are also being analyzed.

This page was last updated on 3/12/2014.