Integrin-Mediated Communication in Disease
Our laboratory’s primary research interests are centered on studying how integrin-mediated cellular communication with cryptic ECM sites exposed following the triggering of biomechanical extracellular matrix (ECM) switches regulates angiogenesis, inflammation, tumor growth and metastasis. In this regard, we use several in in vitro and in vivo animal models of angiogenesis, Inflammation, tumor growth and metastasis. Our ongoing research program is focused on translating our basic research finding into clinically relevant and innovative new strategies for the early detection and treatment of malignant tumors such as metastatic prostate, breast and ovarian carcinoma as well as melanoma. Emerging experimental findings suggest that selective conformational changes in the three-dimensional structure of ECM proteins such as collagen may help create a tumor permissive niche within the tissue microenvironment that is used by both stromal cells and tumor cells to gain growth and migratory advantages (Fig1).