Cancer and Stem Cell Biology
Recent studies have identified a small subpopulation of cells within several cancers, termed as cancer stem cells (CSCs), play a critical role in tumor initiation, progression, and maintenance. Moreover, as CSCs remain unaffected by conventional chemo- and radiotherapy, they are predicted to be a prime cause of therapy failure and cancer recurrence. The main focus of my laboratory is to understand the origin and biology of CSCs, to understand the underlying mechanisms that regulate their stemness and drug resistance, and to develop novel strategies to target CSCs for effective treatment of cancer.
We use a multi-thronged approach to address the following major research themes in the laboratory:
A) Generation of 3-dimensional models to study cancer stem cell biology
B) Mechanisms of anchorage-independent growth and survival of cancer stem cells: role of AMPK
C) Mechanisms of drug resistance in cancer stem cells: role of EMT and ABC transporters
D) Understand the link between type 2 diabetes and breast cancer
E) Organ-on-chip and MEMS based approaches to study cancer progression and detection