|Institution||College of Medicine|
|Address||500 University Drive Hershey PA 17033|
Physician, Associate Professor of Medicine
M.D., Yale University School of Medicine, 1993
Internship, University of Pennsylvania
Residency, University of Pennsylvania, 1995
Fellowship, University of Pennsylvania, 1999
My colleagues and I employ genetically modified mice to uncover molecular and cell biological mechanisms underlying tumor escape. Toward this end, we use novel mouse models that permit reversible activation of oncogenic signaling pathways within mammary epithelium, the tissue compartment in which breast cancers arise. The resulting mice are programmed to develop mammary tumors that faithfully recapitulate key features of human breast cancer, including local invasion at the primary tumor site and metastatic spread to distant organs. Importantly, these mouse models permit oncogenic signaling to be shut off in established tumors, thereby simulating the action of an idealized targeted therapeutic.
We find that, although established mammary cancers regress following abrogation of oncogenic signaling, they invariably leave behind subclinical disease with latent malignant potential. By developing methods for propagating latent malignancy in vivo, we have begun to define biological properties of dormant mammary cancer, an essential and largely unexplored link to breast cancer relapse. Ultimately, by mapping routes to tumor escape and uncovering mechanisms that enable tumor dormancy, we hope to design improved treatment strategies that prevent breast cancer relapse in patients.
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