Ville Magazine l Insider Access for City Lifestyle Mar/Apr 2016 / People Issue - Page 25
When I came to interview, I could tell almost
immediately that it lived up to its reputation
and more. It is driven by science and to better
humanity, and that really resonated with me.
Still does. I’m honored to run a laboratory at
a place with such a rich history and with such
This past summer you received a $4.1M grant to
study ways to prevent metastatic breast cancer.
Why have you decided to focus your research on
this type of cancer?
Photo: Bo Jungmayer / Fred Hutch News Service
Can you explain what metastatic
microenvironments are exactly?
Yes. Tumors of all kinds spread and eventually
grow from their site of origin to other organ
sites. This process is called metastasis. My
lab primarily studies breast cancer. But rather
than study cancer cells in the breast, we
study them in the tissues that breast cancer
metastasizes to—the bones, lungs, brain, liver,
and lymph nodes. As you can imagine, these
tissues are very different than the breast, and
the microenvironments (all of the normal cells,
things they secrete, and structures making up
these tissues) breast tumor cells “see” when
they enter these organs are very different
from where they used to live. We study how
these new “normal” tissue microenvironments
regulate breast tumor cells whe