"I’m interested in studying the interactions between the tumor and the body in cancer. During cancer progression, we observe behaviors such as reduced food intake in the context of irreversible weight loss, as well as metabolic changes in the liver and the immune system. We are aiming to identify and characterize alterations in the whole body that are induced by cancer, and understand the combined effects of candidate cancer treatments on the tumor and the body.
"My lab is trying to understand what makes cancer a deadly disease. Scientists have found that the most dangerous event of cancer is the moment when cells start to move away from a tumor and travel to other sites. To understand this process, we try to make it visible, in 3D. We hope that by seeing these events in full detail, we can begin to think about the right questions to fight deadly cancers. If we fail, at least we'll have some pretty pictures and breathtaking movies.
"My lab uses animal models and genomic analysis to study alterations to genes that guide normal breast development. Using this approach we found that transitions through pregnancy can block breast cancer development. In fact, an early age of pregnancy in humans has also been correlated with a lower risk of developing breast cancer in women. By studying the signals that control milk production and cellular communication during pregnancy, we have discovered new ways to stop breast cancer cells development, and those that enhance breast oncogenesis independently of pregnancy.
"My lab studies genes and signals in cells that regulate the growth and shape of plants. We have discovered several genes that control plant architecture by exerting an influence on stem cells. By identifying the genes that control the number of stem cells in corn plants, for example, we’ve discovered a means of boosting the yield of that vital staple.