Ghajar, Cyrus

Faculty Profile

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[field_fname-formatted] [field_lname-formatted]
Assistant Member
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Public Health Sciences
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Research Summary: 

Housed within the Public Health Sciences Division’s Translational Research Program and directed by Dr. Cyrus Ghajar, the Laboratory for the Study of Metastatic Microenvironments (LSM2) seeks to understand some relatively basic questions regarding breast tumor cell dissemination and metastatic relapse. It is now well-established that tumor cells disseminate from the breast to distant organs very early during tumor progression. Even so, a substantial fraction of women will not relapse for several years or even decades after initial treatment. We are interested in figuring out what disseminated tumor cells are doing in the meantime.

For instance:

  • What are disseminated tumor cells (DTCs) doing from the time they disseminate to the time they are detected?
  • What sustains their survival?
  • What keeps keeps DTCs dormant?
  • Why are DTCs insensitive to therapy?
  • How do the mechanisms underlying survival, dormancy and therapeutic resistance change as the host tissue changes; ie, what is the tissue specificity underlying dormant behaviors? 

Answering these questions holds great promise to halt metastatic disease before it ever has a chance to start, which would result in tremendous gains in patient survival. The answers could also hold the key to understanding some general mysteries in cell and developmental biology such as how tissue size is regulated and how tissue homeostasis is maintained.

We have embarked on some exciting projects to answer the above questions, and utilize a number of different models in our pursuit of the answers. We invite you to look around to learn more about what we do, and please get in touch with any questions.

Short Research Description: 
Microenvironmental regulation of disseminated tumor cells
Areas of Interest: 
Cancer Biology
Cell Signaling & Cell/Environment Interactions
Developmental Biology, Stem Cells & Aging
<p> Metastasis</p> <p> Tumor Microenvironment</p> <p> Tumor Dormancy</p> <p> Vascular Biology</p> <p> Angiogenesis</p> <p> Perivascular Niche</p>

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