Rachel SchaeferRachel has worked as a research assistant in Dr. Steven Balk’s laboratory since 2012. She is currently involved in two translational research studies that were created to explore survival mechanisms in localized prostate cancer resistant to androgen deprivation therapy. The studies examine patient samples for mutations in the androgen receptor and other related proteins and measures their expression levels. Both studies are performed on patients with intermediate and high risk prostate cancer. In one study they receive 6 months of neoadjuvant therapy, which includes the drug abiraterone acetate (ZYTIGA) and leuprolide acetate (Lupron), before radical prostatectomy. She isolates the tumor from the removed tissue by using laser capture microdissection. She analyzes the tumor and compares to a pool of patients that did not receive neoadjuvant therapy. In the other study, the patients have a biopsy taken of either bone marrow or soft tissue before and after abiraterone acetate (ZYTIGA) treatment. She analyzes the removed tissue with baseline compared to post-treatment.

Previously, Rachel was a research assistant in Dr. Anja Nohe’s laboratory at University of Delaware as a graduate and undergraduate student from 2009 to 2012. There she studied the use of calcitriol bound quantum dots as a means of researching calcitriol pathways and as a potential treatment for Inflammatory Breast Cancer. In 2011, she graduated with an Honors B.S. in Biological Sciences, Concentration: Biotechnology and a minor in Chemistry. She graduated in 2012 with an M.S. in Biological Sciences, Concentration: Biotechnology. Her Master’s Thesis was titled Calcitrol Conjugated Quantum Dots, an Innovative Tool as Both Probe and Treatment.

Email Rachel


Research Associate, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center: April 2016-present

Research Assistant III, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center: April 2015-April 2016

Laboratory Safety Officer, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center: June 2013-present

Research Assistant II, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center: September 2012-April 2015

Graduate Research Assistant, University of Delaware: January 2011-August 2012

Laboratory Safety Officer, University of Delaware: 2011-2012

Publications (click underlined to go to publication):

  1. Sowalsky AG, Sager R, Schaefer RJ, Bratslavsky G, Pandolfi PP, Balk SP, Kotula L. Loss of Wave1 gene defines a subtype of lethal prostate cancer (2015). Oncotarget. 6(14):12383-91.

  2. Chen E, Sowalsky AG, Gao S, Cai C, Voznesensky O, Schaefer R, Loda M, True LD, Ye H, Troncoso P, Lis RT, Kantoff P, Montgomery B, Nelson PS, Bubley GJ, Balk SP, Taplin ME. Abiraterone Treatment in Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer Selects for Progesterone Responsive Mutant Androgen Receptors (2015). Clin Cancer Res. 21(6): 1273-80.

  3. Rachel J. Schaefer , Jeremy C. Bonor, Madhura S. Joglekar, Kenneth L. van Golen, and Anja G. Nohe. (2013) 1, 25 Dihydroxyvitamin D3 Uptake is Localized at Caveolae and Requires Caveolar Function. J. Biomed. Nanotechnol. 9, 1707-1715.

  4. Buchanan JL, Gilbert R, Ou Y, Nohe A, Schaefer R. The kinetics of vitamin D₃in the osteoblastic cell (2014). Bull Math Biol. 75(9) 1612-1635.

  5. Schaefer RJ , Russell R, Akkiraju H, Bonor JC, van Golen KL, et al. (2012) Targeting of Calcitriol to Inflammatory Breast Cancer Tumors and Metastasis In Vitro and In Vivo. Biol Syst. 1:104. doi: 10.4172/BSO.1000104

  6. Jeremy C. Bonor*, Rachel J. Schaefer*, Nicola Menegazzo, Karl Booksh, and Anja G. Nohe. (2012) Design of 1,25 Dihydroxyvitamin D3 Coupled Quantum Dots, a Novel Imaging Tool. J. Nanosci. Nanotechnol. 12, 2185-2191

*authors contributed equally to the work