This award is supported through a joint program between the National Science Foundation and the National Cancer Institute. Cancers originate in micrometere scale regions of tissues and organs called cancer microenvironment. This microenvironment consists of healthy as well as cancerous cells that are present in close proximity and signal to each other via soluble molecules. The study of cell signaling or communication is important as it may reveal why some cancers remain dormant while others become aggressive, metastasizing from the primary site. The goal of this grant is to investigate a new mechanism of intercellular communication in cancers. This mechanism is based on lipid particles called exosomes, secreted by cancer cells and carrying within them the payload of nucleic acids and proteins. The researchers hypothesize that uptake of exosomes by neighboring non-cancerous cells may facilitate cancer progression and metastasis. The goal of the work will be to develop novel sensing techonologies for detection of exosome production and novel cell culture approaches for assessing the impact of exosome-producing cancer cells on neighboring non-cancer cells. The research efforts will focus on the study of liver cancer.
|Effective start/end date
|9/1/12 → 8/31/16
- National Science Foundation: $540,000.00