College of Arts and Science
PhD, 2008 University of Oregon
Mechanisms of cell-cell communication during development and tumor progression
The elucidation of cell-intrinsic factors promoting tumor growth has been the focus of intense research in the past several decades and has revealed important details on the molecular bases of tumor development. However, it is now clear that in addition to these factors, tumor heterogeneity and cell-cell interactions within the tumor microenvironment significantly influence tumor progression in ways we don’t fully understand. One of our laboratory interests is to understand how cell-cell signaling events are initiated, interpreted, and integrated in tumor cells to modulate tumor cells behavior. We use a Drosophila tumor model and investigate how epithelial tumor cells communicate with each other and with host cells, including immune cells, to promote tumor overgrowth and metastasis. Indeed, tumor-immune cells interactions represent one of the most important and exciting aspects of cancer biology. In addition, cellular crowding causes tumors to have distinct mechanical properties in the host tissue. We are investigating a role for mechanical cues in tumor overgrowth and metastasis.
Assistant Professor of the Year, College of Arts and Science, University of Missouri, 2022
Best Poster Presentation, New England Science Symposium/Harvard Medical School/Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research 2012
Award of Excellence in Biological Sciences, Best Talk at the 81st Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) 2000
Geraldine K. Lindsay Award of Excellence in Natural Sciences -- 81st Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) 2000