Stroma in development and disease

The Kuperwasser Lab is working towards identifying and understanding how normal breast stem cells, as well as breast cancer stem cells interact with the host cells during cancer formation, expansion and metastasis. Currently the lab is defining how stromal rigidity due to fibroblast activation affects the recruitment and stimulation of immune cells, which likely participate in cancer development and progression. In addition, the lab is examining how adipocytes in the obese state participate as tumor promoters or suppressors. For these studies they have developed and are utilizing various novel human breast xenograft model systems as well as complementary in vitro co-cultures and 3D culture systems to identify molecular pathways that mediate the complex interactions during the various aspects of normal and neoplastic breast development.

Additional interests and projects are:

  • Understanding the role of adipose stromal cells in cancer initiation
  • Defining how changes in mechanotransduction affect development and disease
  • Eludicadating the molecular mechanisms of microcalcification formation in disease
  • Defining the role of stromal cells in the development of cancer in high risk patients