Dr. Breakefield is currently Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School and Geneticist in the Neurology and Radiology Services at Massachusetts General Hospital where she directs the Laboratory of Experimental Gene Therapy.
She received her A.B. from Wilson College and her Ph.D. from Georgetown University. Her focus in neurogenetics began with her postdoctoral training with Dr. Marshal Nirenberg at the National Institutes of Health. She has received awards from the McKnight Foundation and NIH Javits program.
Dr. Breakefield has served on the NIH Recombinant DNA Advisory Committee and on the Board of Directors of the American Society for Gene and Cell Therapy. Her research focuses on gene therapy for brain tumors using HSV vectors and neuroprecursor cells for delivery of therapeutic proteins, as well as on intercellular communication in cancer mediated by extracellular vesicles
Dr. Breakefield was elected as the 2012-2013 President of the American Society for Gene and Cell Therapy, and to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2013.