6059 WI Institute Medical Research
PhD, Chemistry, University of Rochester
MD, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry
Residency in Internal Medicine, New York Presbyterian Hospital, Cornell Campus, New York, NY
Fellowship in Oncology, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY
Associate Professor of Oncology
Associate Professor of Hematology-Oncology
Dr. Burkard is a chemical biologist and medical oncologist who specializes the treatment of breast cancer. His research laboratory is focused on using chemical biology to identify and validate mitotic protein kinases as breast cancer drug targets. The laboratory seeks to advance cancer therapy by two approaches-candidate evaluation (“bottom-up”) and therapeutic strategy (“top-down”). In the first approach, function of specific kinases is interrogated to determine how these control human cell division and evaluate the potential worth as a cancer drug target. Chemical genetics allows the group to dispense with the arduous task of up-front drug discovery and simply mutate the target kinase to prepare for chemical interrogation of function. In contrast, the top-down approach seeks to selectively target a unique characteristic of cancer cells that sensitize them to specific drugs. For example, the group seeks to develop compounds that specifically block proliferation of cells which harbor excess number of chromosomes; such polyploid cells are commonly found in cancer. The ultimate goal is to identify new drug targets or allow improved selection of patients likely to benefit from existing treatments.