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Marsha A. Moses, PhD

Masrha Moses
Vascular Biology Program
Hospital Title:
Director, Vascular Biology Program
Academic Title:
Julia Dyckman Andrus Professor, Harvard Medical School Department of Surgery

Research overview

Dr. Marsha A. Moses is the Julia Dyckman Andrus Professor at Harvard Medical School and the Director of the Vascular Biology Program at Boston Children's Hospital. She has had a long-standing interest in identifying and characterizing the biochemical and molecular mechanisms that underlie the regulation of tumor growth and progression. Dr. Moses and her laboratory have discovered a number of angiogenesis inhibitors that function at both the transcriptional and translational level, some of which are being developed for clinical use.

Significant efforts are also now underway in the Moses Lab to identify the genes, and the proteins that they encode, that are responsible for the escape from tumor dormancy. This critical checkpoint, during which time a tiny benign, avascular tumor acquires the vascular phenotype, is a prerequisite for subsequent tumor growth and progression. The Moses Lab has recently identified and validated a number of genes which are differentially expressed during the angiogenic switch and is currently developing molecular and biochemical interventions to regulate the switch by targeting some of these genes.

Cited as a pioneer in the exciting new field of biomarker medicine by The Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Dr. Moses established a Proteomics Initiative in her laboratory that has led to the discovery of panels of noninvasive urinary cancer biomarkers that can predict disease status and stage in cancer patients and that are sensitive and specific markers of disease progression and therapeutic efficacy of cancer drugs. A number of these urine tests have been made commercially available.

About Marsha A. Moses

Dr. Moses received a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Boston University and completed a National Institutes of Health postdoctoral fellowship at Boston Children's Hospital and MIT. She is the recipient of a number of NIH and foundation grants and awards. In 2013, Dr. Moses received the Honorary Member Award from the Association of Women Surgeons of the American College of Surgeons, and has also been recognized with both of Harvard Medical School's mentoring awards, the A. Clifford Barger Mentoring Award (2003) and the Joseph B. Martin Dean’s Leadership Award for the Advancement of Women Faculty (2009). Dr. Moses was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies of the United States in 2008 and to the National Academy of Inventors in 2013.


  • Jia D, Hasso SM, Chan J, D’Amore, Zurakowski D, Rodig SJ, Moses MA. Transcriptional repression of VEGF by ZNF24: mechanistic studies and vascular consequences in vivo. Blood 2013 Jan 24; 121(4): 707-15; Epub 2012 Dec 3. PMCID: PMC3557646 (*Selected for Cover Feature)
  • Yang J, McNeish B, Butterfield C, Moses MA. Lipocalin 2 is a novel regulator of angiogenesis in human breast cancer. FASEB J 2013; 27(1): 45-50. PMCID: PMC3528324 
  • Di Vizio D, Morello M, Dudley AC, Schow PW, Adam RM, Morley S, Mulholland D, Rotinen M, Hager MH, Insabato L, Moses MA, Demichelis F, Lisanti MP, Wu H, Klagsbrun M, Bhowmick NA, Rubin MA, D'Souza-Schorey C, Freeman MR. Large oncosomes in human prostate cancer tissues and in the circulation of mice with metastatic disease. Am J Pathol 2012 Nov;181(15):1573-84. PMCID: PMC3483805
  • Roy R, Rodig S, Bielenberg D, Zurakowski D, Moses MA. ADAM12 transmembrane and secreted isoforms promote breast tumor growth and metastasis. J Biol Chem 2011 Jun 10; 286(23); Epub 2011 Apr 14. PMCID: PMC3121517
  • Fernandez CA, Roy R, Lee S, Yang J, Panigrahy D, Van Vliet KJ, Moses MA. The anti-angiogenic peptide, Loop 6, binds IGF-IR. J Biol Chem 2010 Dec 31; 285(53); Epub 2010 Oct 12. PMCID: PMC3009916
  • Yang J, Bielenberg DR, Rodig SJ, Doiron R, Kung AL, Zurakowski D, Moses MA. Neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin promotes breast cancer progression: mechanistic studies and clinical implications.  PNAS 2009; 106(10): 3913-3918. PMCID: PMC2656179
  • Harper J., Yan L., Louriero R., Wu I., Fang J., D'Amore P., Moses M.A. (2007) Repression of VEGF expression by the zinc finger transcription factor ZNF24. Cancer Res., 67(18):8736-41.
  • Pories S.E., Zurakowski D., Roy R., Lamb C.C., Raza S., Exarhopoulos A., Scheib R.G., Schumer S., Lenahan C., Borges V., Louis G.W., Anand A., Isakovich N., Hirschfield-Bartek J., Wewer U., Lotz M.M., Moses M.A. (2008) Urinary metalloproteinases: noninvasive biomarkers of breast cancer risk assessment. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev., 17(5):1034-42.
  • Smith E.R., Manfredi M., Scott R.M., Black P., Moses M.A. (2007) A recurrent craniopharyngioma illustrates the potential usefulness of urinary matrix metalloproteinases as noninvasive biomarkers: case report. Neurosurgery, 60(6):E1148-9.

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