Professor, Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center
TRIST-Skin Cancers,Tumor Invasion, Metastasis & Angiogenesis
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The scientific objectives of our laboratory include identifying genes that contribute to cancer invasion and metastasis. The major goal of this research is to define important structure/function relationships and provide the biological basis for new therapeutic strategies. Recent studies have generated molecular classification(s) of specific tumors, and have provided new prognostic markers and novel targets for therapeutic application. In addition, these studies have identified certain embryonic genes that are reactivated during cancer progression and are dysregulated. Current research activities focus on elucidating how regulatory molecules and phenotype control genes govern cell-to-cell and cell-to-matrix interactions, epithelial/mesenchymal transitions, and motility. Specific projects include signal transduction events initiated by cell adhesion molecules and growth factors; factors regulating interconversion of the tumor cell phenotype; novel three-dimensional analysis of cellular invasion through extracellular matrices; regulation of matrix metalloproteinases by tumor and stromal cell interactions; tumor angiogenesis and vasculogenic mimicry; and the role of the microenvironment in the epigenetic reprogramming of tumor cell phenotypes.