|Grant ID: RR190029|
Recruitment of First-Time, Tenure-Track Faculty Members
University of Pennsylvania
February 21, 2019
I am a physician scientist in gastroenterology with a longstanding interest in understanding the cellular and molecular mechanism driving tumor metastasis, therapy resistance, and growth, with an emphasis on pancreatic cancer. Normal tissues and tumors are comprised of diverse cell populations with varying molecular features, giving rise to heterogeneity in both behavior and function. In tumors, this can manifest as subpopulations of cells acquiring the ability to metastasize, develop therapy resistance, or initiate tumor growth. In pancreatic cancer, cellular heterogeneity is a major contributor to poor outcomes. My laboratory applies fundamental developmental biology tools, such as lineage tracing and genetically engineered mouse models, molecular screening tools, and bioinformatic approaches to study the functional consequences of tumor heterogeneity in pancreatic cancer with the goal of translating these findings into new therapies and clinical trials.
My research training began during medical school when I was awarded the prestigious Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Research Scholars Fellowship. During this time, I conducted research in cell and molecular biology under the guidance of Dr. Richard Siegel at the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS). My research focused on understanding the mechanisms by which mutations in the TNF receptor lead to immune dysfunction in the rare disorder, TNF Receptor Associated Periodic Syndrome (TRAPS).