Alexander Birbrair

Credentials: Assistant Professor, Department of Dermatology


Phone: (608) 698-0034




Ph.D. in Neuroscience, Wake Forest School of Medicine, WinstonSalem, NC, USA
Postdoctoral in Stem Cell Biology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY, USA

Research Description:

My overall research goal is to understand the mechanisms by which the nervous system modulates cancer progression. My recent work investigating mechanisms of melanoma progression, tumor dormancy, sensory neurons and pericytes biology demonstrates our emerging expertise and collaborations in the field, laying the groundwork for the present proposal. I also showed that regulation of sensory neuron activity impacts primary melanoma development (Costa et al., 2021). The research proposed in this application builds upon this previous work and aims to understand the role of the sensory neuropeptide receptor PAC1 in melanoma progression. Achieving the goals of the current proposal will enable the development of novel anticancer therapeutic strategies.

Completion of the proposed work will require a multidisciplinary approach that combines state-of-the-art techniques spanning neuroscience and cancer biology; our group has the necessary expertise and containment facilities to conduct the proposed studies. My solid background with murine cancer models, Cre/loxP techniques, sensory neuron genetic manipulation, and other innovative technologies in these fields provides a strong basis for designing and directing the proposed studies.

Research Key Words:

Nervous System, Cancer Progression, Tumor Microenvironment, Sensory Neurons

Link to Lab Website

Link to Publications