Associate Professor of Medical & Molecular Genetics, Department of Medical and Molecular Genetics
Full memberIndiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center, Tumor Microenvironment and Metastasis
My laboratory seeks to understand the paracrine and juxtacrine interactions between cancer cells and their microenvironment that regulate metastatic colonization in ovarian cancer. We are using in vitro organotypic 3D culture models, live 3D time lapse microscopy and mouse xenograft models of metastasis along with cell and molecular biological approaches to study the reciprocal interactions between the metastasizing cancer cells with their microenvironment at the site of metastasis. We are specifically interested in the regulation of key microRNAs and transcription factors by these paracrine/juxtacrine interactions and the mechanism by which they drive metastatic colonization in ovarian cancer. We also study the role of cancer associated fibroblasts – a major constituent of the tumor microenvironment – in providing a favorable niche for cancer stem cells and promoting chemoresistance. To help us gain a better understanding of all these heterotypic interactions, we have developed novel assays like proximal culture assay, plug homing assay and a 3D time-lapse confocal microscopy based assay for co-invasion of cancer cells along with stromal cells.
Post-doctoral Fellowship - The University of Chicago, Chicago, IL2007-2011