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Metastases investigators

Nduka Amankulor
Research Interests and Keywords:
  • Microenvironment and immune escape in glioblastoma
  • oligodendroglioma
  • brain and spine metastases
Shilpa Sant, PhD
527 Salk Hall
3501 Terrace Street
Pittsburgh PA
Phone: 412-648-9804
Research Interests and Keywords:
  • Biomimetic microenvironments
  • tissue engineering
  • 3D tumor models
  • drug delivery
The goal of our laboratory is to develop an independent and multidisciplinary research program at the interface of biomaterials, controlled drug delivery, and tissue engineering. We use an interdisciplinary approach to build biomimetic microenvironments in vitro based on our expertise in the pharmaceutical sciences, materials sciences, cell biology and micro/nanotechnologies. Specifically, we aim to develop tissue-engineered tumor models that recreate the three-dimensional structure, cell-cell/cell-matrix interaction, stromal environments, and signalling cues present in vivo. These three-dimensional models will be used for understanding the pathophysiology of the disease as well as for preclinical evaluation of drug safety and efficacy.
Alan Wells
Scaife Hall, S713
3550 Terrace Street
Pittsburgh PA
Phone: 412-647-7813
Reza Zarnegar, PhD
S-411A S-BST
200 Lothrop Street
Pittsburgh PA
Research Interests and Keywords:
  • Hepatocyte Growth Factor (HGF)
  • physiological and pathological role of the HGF/Met axis in normal tissue homeostasis and disease processes including cancer
Adrian Lee, PhD
Magee-Womens Research Institute
204 Craft Avenue, A412
Pittsburgh PA
Phone: 412-641-7739
Research Interests and Keywords:
  • Breast cancer
  • steroid receptors
  • growth factor signaling
  • estrogen receptor
  • progesterone receptor
  • insulin-like growth factor
  • tumor heterogeneity
The goal of the Lee laboratory is translational breast cancer research. The laboratory has two main areas of focus. The first involves targeting the insulin-like growth factor pathway in breast cancer. A major emphasis is upon the downstream signaling intermediates the insulin receptor substrates (IRSs) analyzing interactions with steroid hormone receptors (ER and PR), role in normal mouse mammary gland development, mechanisms of transformation of mammary epithelial cells in vitro and in mouse models, and roles in human breast cancer. The second area of research is studies on tumor heterogeneity and molecular changes during progression, with a particular focus on DNA and RNA structural rearrangements. The laboratory participated in the first comprehensive report of structural rearrangements in a breast cancer cell line (MCF7) and reported on a novel massively parallel fosmid-based mate-pair assay for determining structural rearrangements. This work focuses on different tumor areas, or tumors from different parts of the body (obtained via rapid autopsy) to identify novel changes that may offer therapeutic insight. In addition, the University of Pittsburgh is the largest contributor of tissue to The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA), and many results are validated in these index cases.
Kurt Weiss, MD
UPMC Shadyside Medical Center
5200 Centre Avenue, Suite 415
Pittsburgh PA
Phone: 412-802-4137
Research Interests and Keywords:
  • Orthopaedic oncology
  • sarcoma basic biology
  • osteosarcoma
  • translational research
In addition to specializing in pediatric and adult orthopaedic oncology, Dr. Weiss directs a basic science laboratory dedicated to the study of sarcomas ' cancerous tumors that arise in musculoskeletal tissues. As a bone cancer survivor himself, Dr. Weiss brings passion and enthusiasm to the laboratory, clinic, and operating room.
Jianhua Xing