Research Interest

I am currently a research assistant in Dr. Andrea Mastro’s Biochemistry and Molecular Biology lab studying the interaction of metastatic breast cancer cells with osteoblasts. Breast cancer cells frequently metastasize to the skeleton where they grow and cause bone loss.  The cancer cells do not themselves destroy the bone but disturb the balance of the normal bone remodeling cells, osteoblasts and osteoclasts. This interaction is important to learn more about because many cancer patients die from metastasis. This research has spurred an interest in metastasis suppressor genes, such as KISS-1, whose role in breast cancer remains controversial. My independent research project focuses on the interactions among one of the proteolytic processing products of the Kiss1 protein (kisspeptin10, KP10), its receptor, KISS1R (GPR54, AXOR12), osteoblasts (bone forming cells), and bone-metastatic breast cancer cells, MDA-MB-231.  I have developed this project for two years and was able to present my most recent results at the American Association for Cancer Research national conference in San Diego, CA. Below I have included the abstract and poster I presented at the conference.

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