Monolayer and gel cultures of immortalized and primary cells, incorporation of patient-derived materials, engineering spatially and temporally controlled cell culture conditions for tumor microenvironment analysis and treatment strategy optimization
Multi-omics analysis combined with cell, protein, RNA, and DNA analysis, molecular cloning and genetic engineering for gene modification and reporter gene assays, immunostaining and fluorescent microscopy/plate assays, and metabolic flux analysis
The mechanical response of a cell to chemical or physical stimuli is controlled by the cytoskeleton, which includes integrin receptors on the cell surface, intracellular focal adhesions, cytoskeletal filaments, accessory proteins, and molecular motors. The cytoskeletal network responds dynamically to soluble or mechanical cues provided by the ECM and is directly connected to canonical signal transduction pathways important in cancer. Thus, it is critical to study molecular and physical aspects of cancer.
The hallmarks of cancer represent the essential biological alterations that occur during the multistep development of human tumors. These alterations include sustained proliferation, replicative immortality, growth suppressor evasion, angiogenesis, and activation of the invasion and metastasis process. Additional hallmarks include genetic instability, prolonged inflammation, altered metabolism, and cellular senescence.
Research focused on these biological alterations in cancer and stromal cells is essential in understanding how the the tumor microenvironment evolves to promote invasive cancers that are resistant to traditional chemotherapies. The Dawson Lab combines molecular and physical analysis to provide more holistic understanding of the modifications that occur in malignancy.