Appropriate cellular interactions with the extracellular matrix (ECM) help establish normal cellular architecture. During oncogenic transformation, these normal interactions are profoundly altered. Our lab is interested in understanding, at the molecular level, how these interactions are modified during carcinogenesis to result in invasive, metastatic carcinoma.
We use a wide range of microscopy techniques to unveil the interactions within the tumor microenvironment. We have at our disposal bright field, epifluorescence, confocal, multi-photon, FLIM, and spectral imaging.
We employ biochemical assays to accurately measure changes in metabolites. Also, we analyze protein production and activation of different kinases once breast cancer cells are presented with a high-density matrix.
Cloning fluorescent tags onto proteins has allowed us to discern localization of specific peptides. Factor shuttling between the cytoplasm and nucleus are vital to our research, as well as the concentration of proteins to sites of contact with the ECM.