The main goal of our lab is to investigate the role of the tumor microenvironment in driving metastasis and drug resistance using an interdisciplinary approach involving basic biology, bioengineering and translational research.
The role of ECM in driving local invasion in breast cancer
DISSECTING the neural identity of tumors
Recently, the presence of peripheral nerves in solid tumors and the upregulation of neuronal genes within tumor cells themselves were both reported to be associated with poor outcome in cancer. Our goal is to use biology, engineering and clinically translatable approaches to understand how neoneurogenesis occurs in tumors, how the neural identity of tumors impacts the systemic regulation of metastasis and how we can leverage this information for non-invasive monitoring and treatment of metastatic disease. We have shown that bioelectricity regulates cancer cell invasion and metastasis which could lead to a new class of therapeutics for patients with metastatic disease (Payne et al., 2022, Ebiomedicine). We have also identified a novel mechanism of sensory nerve-driven invasion in breast cancer via the axon guidance molecule PlexinB3 (Le et al, BiorXiv, 2021).
The diagnosis of Dr. Oudin’s daughter with SCN8A encephalopathy has led to to a new research area in the lab, investigating how alternative splicing of sodium channels impacts neuronal function and the development of epilepsy. We aim to develop novel therapies for the treatment of neurodevelopmental disorders, such as those caused by mutations in SCN8A.
David Kaplan, BME
Brian Timko, BME
Michael Levin, Biology
Andrew Greenberg (TUSM, HNRCA)
Stephen Naber, Pathology
Chris Burge, Biology, MIT