Cancer Research UK Scholar Award, University of Manchester - Biology
I am an Associate Professor of Biology and Director of the Developmental Oncogene Laboratory at California State University Northridge (CSUN). I supervise grad students, undergrads and postdocs who are tackling projects aimed at understanding how molecular and cellular heterogeneity within the tumour microenvironment drives progression of breast and pancreatic cancers. This Fulbright-Cancer Research UK Scholar Award supports my research collaboration with Dr Martin Humphries at the University of Manchester Wellcome Trust Centre for Cell Matrix Research. Since Martin’s team has made seminal discoveries about how cells communicate with their extracellular environment, this partnership will allow me to investigate new mechanisms by which matrix proteins influence pancreatic cancer cell state diversity to drive stress and therapy resistance. We hope that this new collaboration may yield both novel treatment strategies for this deadly malignancy as well as new cross-cultural partnerships between CSUN and the University of Manchester. On a personal note, I am delighted that we (my wife and our three children will join me for the year) get to immerse ourselves in British culture and learn more about Europe.