Centre for Cancer Biomarkers CCBIO

CCBIO international affiliated investigators

Rolf A. Brekken

Professor Rolf A. Brekken received his BA in biology from Luther College in Decorah, IA and his PhD from UT Southwestern Medical Center. His graduate studies were focused on developing novel therapies that target the vascular compartment of tumors.

He was a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Vascular Biology at the Hope Heart Institute in Seattle, WA where he studied how the extracellular matrix (ECM) contributes to vascular function in tumors. He joined the Department of Surgery at UT Southwestern as faculty in 2002 and was promoted to associate professor with tenure in 2009 and to professor in 2015. His laboratory is located in the Hamon Center for Therapeutic Oncology Research.

Dr. Brekken is the Effie Marie Cain Scholar in Angiogenesis Research and Deputy Director of the Hamon Center for Therapeutic Oncology Research. His laboratory receives funding from the ACS, NCI, DOD, CPRIT and biopharmaceutical companies. He is an author on over 150 peer-reviewed scientific papers and a senior editor at Cancer Research. Two therapeutic antibodies Dr. Brekken helped develop are in clinical trial and he recently co-founded a company, Tuevol Therapeutics, which is focused on the development of novel therapies for cancer.

Dr. Brekken’s laboratory studies the tumor microenvironment. In particular his group is focused on three areas:
1) ECM signaling in tumors;
2) therapeutic immune reactivation; and
3) how immune cells contribute to the metastatic cascade.