Marja Nevalainen MD, PhD

Professor of Pathology

Marja T. Nevalainen MD, PhD

Marja T. Nevalainen MD, PhD

Introduction

Dr. Nevalainen is an internationally recognized leader in the field of Jak-Stat signaling in prostate cancer (PC). Dr. Nevalainen has discovered 1) that Stat5 is critical PC cell viability and growth, 2) inhibition of Stat5 blocks castrate-resistant growth of (PC) in preclinical models, 3) active Stat5 predicts poor prognosis in human PC and predicts unfavorable response to radical prostatectomy, 4) elevated Stat5 is associated with aggressive, high grade PC, 5) Stat5 promotes PC stem cell properties and development of epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition and metastatic disease and that Stat5 is particularly elevated within PC metastases, and 6) that Stat5 gene amplification is frequently detected in aggressive PC. 7) In recent work, using medicinal chemistry Dr. Nevalainen and collaborators have identified family of novel small molecule Stat5 inhibitors with high efficacy in both PC and Bcr-Abl-driven leukemias.

Dr. Nevalainen’s research accomplishments include development of an androgen-dependent human PC cell line which mimics the course of human disease when grown as xenograft tumors in nude mice. Specifically, the tumors response to androgen deprivation by regression but regrow eventually back as castrate-resistant tumors.

Dr. Nevalainen is further recognized in her field for early development of a long-term 3D organ explant culture system for normal and malignant prostate tissue for efficacy testing of experimental biologics and small-molecules ex vivo in clinical PCs from patients and as an experimental model system for identification of growth factor and drug modulated signaling proteins in prostate tissue.

Research Interests
  • Jak-Stat signaling in prostate cancer progression and therapy development
  • Jak-Stat regulation of pancreatic cancer growth and progression
Professional Background
  • Clinical Residency, Primary Care Unit of Loimaa, Loimaa, Finland (1993)
  • Instructor, Dept. Cell Biology, University of Turku, Turku, Finland (1994-1997)
  • Finnish Academy of Science: Visiting Fellow, Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences. (1997-1998)
  • WHO-IARC-Fellow (World-Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer), United States Military Cancer Institute, USUHS, Bethesda, MD (1998-1999)
  • Visiting Fellow, United States Military Cancer Institute, USUHS, Bethesda, MD (2000-2002)
  • Assistant Professor, Dept. Cell Biology and Lombardi Cancer Center, Georgetown University, Washington, DC. (2002-2003)
  • Assistant Professor, Dept. of Oncology, Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, Georgetown University, Washington, DC (2003-2006)
  • Associate Professor of Cancer Biology, Kimmel Cancer Center, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (2006-2015)
  • Associate Professor of Medical Oncology, Kimmel Cancer Center, Thomas Jefferson University (2006-2015)
  • Associate Director (Education), Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center, Thomas Jefferson University (2007-2015)
  • Vice Chairman – Education, Dept. of Cancer Biology, Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center, Thomas Jefferson University (2007-2015)
  • Member of the Executive Committee of Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center, Thomas Jefferson University (2007-2015)
  • Member of the Research Advisory Committee of Thomas Jefferson University (2009-2015)
  • Member of the Professional Faculty Advisory Committee of Thomas Jefferson University (2009-2010)
  • Associate Professor of Urology, Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center, Thomas Jefferson University (2009-2015)
  • Co-Director: Greater Philadelphia Prostate Cancer Working Group (2009-2015)
  • Professor, Dept. of Pathology, Medical College of Wisconsin Cancer Center (2015-present)
  • Associate Director (Education, Medical College of Wisconsin Cancer Center (2015-present)
  • Member of the Executive Committee, Medical College of Wisconsin Cancer Center (2015-present)
Educational Background
  • Medicine B.M., University of Turku, Turku, Finland
  • Medicine M.D., University of Turku, Turku, Finland
  • Clinical Residency, Medicine, Health Central of Loimaa, Loimaa, Finland
  • Cell Biology, University of Turku, Turku, Finland
Board Certifications

Contact Information

Office Address
8701 Watertown Plank Road

Milwaukee, WI, 53226