Scialog: Collaborative Teams - 2017
Biomedical Engineering, University of California Irvine
Follow the Leader: Forecasting collective cancer dynamics
A cancerous tumor has cells that act as leaders as the tumor invades and degrades the body’s extracellular matrix, a collection of molecules secreted by healthy cells that provides for their structural and biochemical support. Little is known about how cancer cells become leader cells or how a hierarchy is established as the invasion moves forward.
Three scientists -- Michelle Digman, University of California Irvine, Steve Pressé, Arizona State University, and Bo Sun, Oregon State University – have formed a collaboration to screen novel metabolic and rheological (i.e., flow) markers within an invading group of cancer cells. Specifically they aim to determine the probabilities of a cell belonging to a certain type within the invading tumor, and also determine how to eliminate leading cells, as well how new leaders are “elected.”
Among the three scientist, who have not worked together before, there is considerable expertise in live cell imaging and analysis, mathematical analysis and statistical modeling, and tumor patterning and cancer migration.
Digman, Presse and Sun formed their collaboration at the most recent Scialog: Molecules Come to Life conference organized by the private foundation Research Corporation for Science Advancement (RCSA).
The $168,750 in funding for the trio’s research is provided by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, which is co-sponsoring Scialog: Molecules Come to Life.