My research goal is to assess the role of bone-like material properties influencing bone-metastatic potential of breast cancer cells. Microcalcification composed of hydroxyapatite (HA), a main component of human bone, in breast tissue is an important indicator for potential of malignant breast cancer cell development and bone metastasis. It is known that HA properties in the breast and bone sites vary with pathological conditions. However, the potential of HA properties that contributes to breast cancer bone metastasis by regulating breast cancer behavior is poorly understood despite the evidence that the presence of HA in cancer microenvironment is associated with cancer phenotypes. From this viewpoint, my work focuses on screening breast cancer cell behaviors on bone-like minerals composed of various physicochemical properties and elucidating correlation between cell-mineral interactions and the induction of a bone-metastatic phenotype.
Before joining the Fischbach lab, I received my Ph.D. in Materials Science from University of Wisconsin at Madison. My research focused on systematical control of calcium phosphate-based mineral properties using a “biomimetic” approach to screen human mesenchymal stem cell behaviors on enhanced throughput mineral coatings.