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Seminar (Talk-2) by Dr. Shyni Varghese on Ex vivo 3D tumor models to study cancer cell invasion and T cell recruitment
December 14, 2022 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Title: Ex vivo 3D tumor models to study cancer cell invasion and T cell recruitment
“Advancement in three-dimensional (3D) cell cultures and microfabrication has led to the development of physiologically relevant ex vivo models to understand the interdependency between cells and their microenvironment as well as various cellular functions involved in development and pathogenesis. In this talk, I will discuss about our efforts on understanding the role of physical properties of the matrix in disease progression such as cancer metastasis. Metastatic dissemination of cancer cells is a key contributor to >90% of cancer-related mortality. Though metastasis involves multiple steps, the ability of cancer cells to invade and traverse through dense 3D structures (i.e., extracellular matrix such as collagen network) is a crucial manifestation of cancer malignancy. In order to understand cancer cell invasion and migration, we have developed a single cell resolution quantitative assay to estimate the three-dimensional (3D) traction stresses generated by the cancer cells during their migration. We also examined the effect of material properties on protease independent vs. dependent mode of migration of cancer cells. Such quantitative analysis would lead to identification of new pathways that might be targeted to develop therapies to treat cancer metastasis. I will also talk about the application of tumor-on-chip platform involving heterotypic cells to study tumor associated microenvironment on cell recruitment.”
About the Speaker:
Shyni Varghese, Ph.D., is a Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering & Materials Science, and Orthopaedics Surgery at Duke University. She is the inaugural MEDx Investigator at Duke University. Prior to moving to Duke, she was a Professor of Bioengineering at University of California, San Diego. Dr. Varghese’s research covers a broad range of topics including stem cells, biomaterials, biologically inspired systems, tissue chips, and regenerative medicine. Her research activities have resulted in over 100 publications and over a dozen patent disclosures. Examples of ongoing research activities in her laboratory involve developing functional biomaterials such as self-healing hydrogels and biomineralized matrices; technologies to improve cell-based therapies including stem-cell differentiation, cell transplantation, activating endogenous stem cells, and engineered functional tissue grafts; and organ-on-a-chip technologies. She is a fellow of AIMBE and Royal Society of Chemistry. She is currently serving as an Associate Editor of Biomaterials Science (an RSC journal).