Through our National Cancer Institute-funded Physics Sciences-Oncology Center (PSOC), our researchers in the area of the physics of cancer are working to identify the physical principles that drive cancer metastasis. Our PSOC has three major projects headed by ChemBE faculty members Sharon Gerecht, Denis Wirtz and Konstantinos Konstantopoulos.
Sharon Gerecht studies the synergistic roles of hypoxia and the extracellular microenvironment in the formation of blood vessels near and inside tumors.
Denis Wirtz identifies the physical factors that regulate the transition and 3D migration of cancer cells from a primary tumor site into the surrounding stromal matrix.
Konstantinos Konstantopoulos integrates microtechnology with molecular cell biology techniques to investigate the processes of tumor formation and metastasis.
Honggang Cui is building mimetic peptide platforms to simulate the tumor microenvironment and study the invasion and migration of metastatic cancer cells.
Michael Betenbaugh is developing analytical tools to characterize the changes in metabolic pathways that occur during cancer transformations as a way of identifying novel treatments for the disease.