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Genes and the micro-environment: Two faces of who we are
with Mina Bissell, Ph.D.
Distinguished Scientist, Life Sciences Division
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA

January 24, 2013
Biodesign Auditorium
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abstract: Mina Bissell will discuss how she and her colleagues have developed and use 3-D models of normal mammary gland and mammary tumors from both mice and humans to understand breast cancer. She will present recent work on the seminal role of tissue and organ architecture in cancer research, specifically regulation of tissue specificity and plasticity. Bissell will also discuss work with newer, more complex models developed to better understand metastasis and dormancy.

She will show a mechanism to underscore the model of dynamic reciprocity and how the ECM and basement membrane signal to the nucleus, via intricate interactions with nuclear actin to provide cell and tissue quiescence; discoveries of unique functions for MMPs (a possible explanation for why anti-MMP therapies failed); and a recent discovery of a novel movement through kinetic imaging of how a unit of tissue function in the mammary gland (an acinus) is formed in the normal breast, lost in malignancy and reformed by controlling the microenvironment and restoring tissue context and architecture. Bissell will discuss why these concepts and models have profound implications for prognosis, drug resistance and therapy of cancer.

This seminar will be broadcast online via Web Cast, and a recording of the seminar will be available the following business day.

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