The research interests of the lab revolve around understanding how cancer cells spread from the initial tumor to other parts of the body to start new tumors, i.e., metastasis. Because metastasis is the primary complication associated with the disease and the leading cause of cancer-related death, revealing how cells in the tumor microenvironment affect each other at the molecular level will give us opportunities to explore new drug targets and design better therapies. We also hope to discover new biomarkers that will allow physicians to detect and treat cancer earlier, leading to better patient prognosis.
We focus on pancreatic cancer primarily because it metastasizes often and remains one of the deadliest forms of cancer, but we expect that lessons learned in pancreatic cancer will be applicable to other tumor types as well. We have ongoing projects that attack the problem from basic bench science to translational medicine.