Context specificity and carcinogenesis
Our laboratory is interested on how context specificity affects the kinetic profile, the morphology and the properties of malignant tumors. We are particularly intrigued by the fact that the same type of cancer cells can develop into different tumors depending on the constitution of microenvironment. Based on this notion we believe that appropriate manipulation of tumor stroma may serve as the basis for the development of novel cancer therapeutics and for the establishment of strategies that more accurately predict cancer risk and disease prognosis.
Over the last few years we have developed an increasing interest in the role of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress in various conditions and especially in metabolic diseases. We are especially interested in understanding how variations in ER stress and the resulting unfolded protein response (UPR) interferes with the adaptation of individuals at different environments and the onset and progression of ER stress-associated pathologies. For our studies we use outbred deer mice (Peromyscus) as a model. These small mammals, although similar to mice possess unique sets of features that render them ideal for the study of stress biology in the context of genetically diverse populations.