Joyce Schroeder, PhD

Professor and Head, Molecular and Cellular Biology
Director, Metastatic Breast Cancer Initiative
Professor, BIO5 Institute
Professor, Cancer Biology - GIDP
Professor, Genetics - GIDP
Email Address: 
Phone Number: 
(520) 626-1384

UACC Information

UACC Organizational Unit(s): 
Professional Bio: 

Dr. Schroeder's laboratory investigates the role of the ErbB receptors in driving breast cancer, with an emphasis on the role of Llgl1, MUC1 and CD44 to modulate EGFR function. They have identified the loss of apicobasal polarity as a driver in EGFR-driven breast cancer, through its mislocalization and interaction with the apical protein MUC1. Additionally, they have identified Llgl1 as a polarity protein that acts as a tumor suppressor in EGFR-driven breast cancer and shown that loss of EGFR regulation can drive CD44-dependent cancer progression. 

In Dr. Schroeder's laboratory at the University of Arizona, they have furthered our understanding of the role of MUC1 in regulating EGFR during breast cancer progression, and developed a peptide-based therapeutic for the targeting of these interactions in cancer. This was followed by the development of a peptide-based therapeutic to simultaneously inactivate kinase-dependent and –independent functions of EGFR, HER2 and ERBB3 simultaneously. They are now focused on the development of these peptide-based therapeutics to target tumor-specific protein-protein interactions as well as investigating the mechanisms of polarity as a suppressor of transformation and metastasis.

Dr. Schroeder is the co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Arizona Cancer Therapeutics (ACT), a company created to bring these targeted therapeutics to clinical trials. She is also president of Alliance Therapeutics, a management company for ACT.

Clinical Information

Disease or Clinical Specialty: 
Breast Cancer

Research Information

Research Program: 
Cancer Biology
College of Science
Selected Publications: 

Dr. Schroeder's NCBI bibliography

  1. Louderbough, J. M. V., Lopez, J. I., and Schroeder, J. A. Matrix Hyaluronan Alters Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor-Dependent Cell Morphology. Cell Adhesion and Migration, 4:26-31, 2010. PMID: 20009574
  2. Bitler, B. G., Goverdhan, A. and Schroeder, J. A. MUC1 Regulates Nuclear Localization and Function of the Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor. Journal of Cell Science, 123:1716-1723, 2010. PMID: 20406885
  3. Flowers, M., Schroeder, J. A., Borowsky, A. D., Besselsen, D. G., Thompson, C. A., Pandey, R., and Thompson, P. A. Pilot study on the effects of dietary conjugated linoleic acid on tumorigenesis and gene expression in PyMT transgenic mice. Carcinogenesis, 31: 1642-9, 2010 PMID: 20624750
  4. Cheung, L. S. L., Zheng, X., Wang, L., Guzman, R., Schroeder, J. A., Heimark, R. L., Baygents, J. C., and Zohar, Y. Kinematics of specifically captured circulating tumor cells in bio-functionalized microchannels. Journal of Microelectromechanical Systems, 19:752-763, 2010.
  5. Cheung, L. S. L., Zheng, X., Wang, L., Baygents, J. C., Guzman, R., Schroeder, J. A., Heimark, R. L., and Zohar, Y. Adhesion dynamics of circulating tumor cells under shear flow in a bio-functionalized microchannel. Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering, vol. 21, p. 354033, 2011
  6.  Zheng, X., Cheung, L. S. L., Schroeder, J. A., Jiang, L., and Zohar, Y. A high-performance microsystem for isolating circulating tumor cells.  Lab on a Chip, 11:3269-76, 2011. PMID:21837324
  7. Louderbough, J. V., Brown, J., Nagle, R. B. and Schroeder, J. A. CD44 promotes epithelial mammary gland development and exhibits altered localization during cancer progression. Genes and Cancer (cover), 2: 771-781, 2011. PMID: 2239346
  8. Zheng, X., Cheung, L. S. L., Schroeder, J. A., Jiang, L. and Zohar, Y. Cell receptor and surface ligand density effects on dynamic states of adhering circulating tumor cells. Lab on a Chip, 11:3431-9, 2011. PMID: 21853194
  9. Horm, T. M., Bitler, B. G., Broka, D., Louderbough, J. M. and Schroeder, J. A. MUC1 Drives c-Met-dependent migration and scattering. Molecular Cancer Research,10:1544-54, 2012. PMID: 23193156
  10. Russ, A., Louderbough, J. M. V., Zarnescu, D., and Schroeder, J. A. Hugl1 and Hugl2 promote epithelial polarity and differentiation in mammary epithelium. PloS One, 7:1-12, 2012. PMID: 23110097
  11. Hart, M.*, Su, H.-Y.*, Broka, D., Goverdhan, A. and Schroeder, J.A. Inactive ERBB receptors cooperate with reactive oxygen species to suppress cancer progression. Molecular Therapeutics, 21:1996-2007, 2013. PMID: 24081029
  12. Zheng, X., Jiang L., Schroeder, J., Stopeck, A. and Zohar, Y. Isolation of viable Cancer Cells in Antibody-functionalized Microfluidic Devices. Biomicrofluidics, 8:024119-1-11, 2014. PMCID: PMC4008759
  13. Bitler, B. G. and Schroeder, J. A. (invited) Anti-Cancer Therapies that Utilize Cell Penetrating Peptides. Recent Patents on Anti-Cancer Drug Discovery, 2010
  14. Louderbough, J. V. and Schroeder, J. A. Understanding the dual nature of CD44 in breast cancer progression. Molecular Cancer Research, 9:1573-86, 2011. PMID: 21970856
  15. Horm, T. M. and Schroeder, J.A. (invited) MUC1 and metastatic cancer: Expression, function and therapeutic targeting. Cell Adhesion and Migration, 2013 

Professional Information

Positions and Honors: 
2008, Galileo Circle Fellow, College of Science
2006, Sydney E. Salmon, M.D., Distinguished Junior Investigator, Arizona Cancer Center
Other Experience and Professional Memberships/Affiliations: 

Academic Information

Mayo Clinic, Scottsdale, Az
Microbiology and Immunology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC
Undergraduate School: 
University of Arizona