Keywords: Molecular mechanisms of metastasis and the cancer microenvironment
The Buchsbaum Laboratory focuses on studying signal transduction pathways underlying cancer cell growth and metastasis. In particular, we are interested in pathways involving the Rac protein, a member of the Ras superfamily that is a central player in multiple signaling pathways affecting malignant cell behavior. We have found that Rac signaling can be directed through a network of distinct pathways, involving cell survival and apoptosis, cell cycling and growth, and migration and invasion, by a major regulator protein, Tiam1. A major interest is the regulation of this Tiam1/Rac signaling network in normal and malignant cells. We are also exploring a novel hypothesis that Tiam1 in the tumor microenvironment plays a major role in regulating cancer cell invasion and metastasis. We are focused on uncovering the molecular mechanisms underlying the function of Tiam1 in the tumor microenvironment and applying knowledge of the involved signaling pathways to develop therapeutic approaches against breast cancer invasion and metastasis as well as clinical tools for stratifying risk and prognosis.