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Xandra O. Breakefield, PhD

Professor, Department of Neurology, Harvard Medical School

Geneticist (Neurology), Molecular Neurogenetics Unit, Massachusetts General Hospital

Contact Info

Xandra Breakefield
Massachusetts General Hospital
Building 149, 13th Street
Charlestown, MA, 02129
Mailstop: Rm 6216
Phone: 617-726-5728
Fax: 617-724-1537


Suzanne McDavitt
Administrative Assistant
Massachusetts General Hospital
Building 149, 13th St.
Charlestown, MA, 02129
Phone: 617-724-6863
Fax: 617-724-1537

DF/HCC Program Affiliation


Lab Website

Breakefield Laboratory

Research Abstract

The Breakefield laboratory is focusing on the use of molecular genetics to elucidate the genes underlying glioblastoma and to develop gene therapy strategies for brain tumors and schwannomas in the peripheral nervous system. This work involves development of novel vectors to enhance gene delivery/expression in tumors, and exploration of combined therapeutic modalities. We have used a number of viral vectors for gene delivery in culture and in vivo, and explored the nucleic acid content of extracellular vesicles (exosomes and microvesicles) released by neural cells, including their use as biomarkers in the serum and cerebral spinal fluid for brain tumors, ability to carry out intercellular communication among cells, and capacity to serve as therapeutic agents.


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