Masonic Cancer Center

A comprehensive cancer center designated by the National Cancer Institute

Tumor Microenvironment

About the Tumor Microenvironment Program

AHCMCC2 - Image - McCarthy180x172AHCMCC2 - Image - Kalpna-Gupta180x172

Program Leaders:

Kalpna Gupta, Ph.D.
James McCarthy, Ph.D.

The Tumor Microenvironment (TME) Program is a new research program that incorporates members of the former Women's Cancer Program and some members of the Genetic Mechanisms of Cancer Program. The program consists of 34 members, representing the University of Minnesota's medical school, Institute of Engineering and Medicine (IEM), Center for Magnetic Resonance Research (CMRR), College of Veterinary Medicine, and School of Dentistry; the Minneapolis Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC); and the Hormel Institute.

TME program members seek to define critical molecular and cellular mechanisms through which alterations in the tumor microenvironment contribute to tumor-related factors in malignant progression. The program is organized in three distinct but overlapping themes that have the potential to impact tumor progression in several ways, including reducing tumor burden, limiting metastasis, and lessening cancer-induced pain, all of which affect morbidity and mortality in cancer patients.

Research themes: 

  • Mechanisms of cancer-associated pain
  • Critical cellular interactions in the tumor microenvironment that facilitate malignant progression
  • Key molecular interactions critical in invasion and therapeutic resistance
Program Meeting Schedule
    Research Program Members
  • AHCMCC - Image - 70x80 -  Bazzaro_Martina

    Martina Bazzaro, Ph.D.
    Development of targeted therapies for treatment of ovarian and HPV-associated cervical cancer; development and characterization of new biomarkers for early-detection ovarian cancer; identification and characterization of molecules associated with ovarian cancer development and progression; the role of angiogenesis in ovarian cancer progression

    AHCMCC2 - Image - 70x80 - Mohammad Saleem Bhat

    Mohammad Saleem Bhat, Ph.D.
    Understanding the biochemical, cellular, and molecular processes crucial for the development of prostate and pancreatic cancer; identification of potential agents that could be used to treat and prevent cancer in humans

    AHCMCC - Image - 70x80 -  Bischof_John

    John Bischof, Ph.D.
    Thermal biology and nanotechnology to develop novel therapies to treat cancer

    AHCMCC2 - Image - 70x80 - Erin Dickerso

    Erin Dickerson, Ph.D.
    Targeted therapy using peptides in conjunction with novel delivery approaches; development of targeted delivery strategies that overcome drug resistance of tumors and strategies that target the drivers of tumor formation and maintenance

    AHCMCC2 - Image - 70x80 - William Elmquist

    William Elmquist, Ph.D.
    Biochemical and physiological determinants of drug absorption, distribution, and elimination with a focus on brain tumors

    AHCMCC - Image - 70x80 -  Garwood_Michael

    Michael Garwood, Ph.D.
    Developing advanced MRI and MRS spectroscopy techniques to study tissue function, metabolism and microstructure to better understand the unique functional and molecular properties of cancer, and to improve the clinical management of the disease

    AHCMCC2 - Image - 70x80 - Edward Greeno

    Edward Greeno, M.D.
    Clinical management of gastrointestinal malignancies

    AHCMCC - Image - 70x80 - Gupta_Kalpna

    Kalpna Gupta, Ph.D.
    Opioid/opioid receptor signaling in endothelium leading to preclinical and translational studies to investigate the role of opioids and opioid receptor antagonists in angiogenesis, cancer progression and metastasis; basic and translational studies to prevent this inadvertent effect of opioids without compromising analgesia

    AHCMCC - Image - 70x80 - Gupta_Pankaj

    Pankaj Gupta, M.D.
    The role of proteglycans in stem cell niche formation; association of opioid use with clinical outcomes in prostate cancer, including cancer progression and survival

    AHCMCC2 - Image - shilpa_gupta70x80

    Shilpa Gupta, M.D.
    Development of novel targeted therapies and immunotherapy combinations in gladder, prostate and kidney cancers; role of androgen receptor (AR) in bladder cancer.

    AHCMCC2 - Image - 70x80 - Bin He

    Bin He, Ph.D.
    Application of functional electrencephalography, thermography and fMRI to the detection of physiologically relevant signals such as pain and normal and tumor cell migration

    AHCMCC2 - Image - LeBeau_70x80

    Aaron LeBeau
    Targeting cancer-associated proteases for imaging and therapy using small-molecule and antibody-based inhibitors; main expertise in prostate cancer

    AHCMCC2 - Image - 70x80 - Danni Li

    Danni Li, Ph.D.
    Carbohydrate modified proteins as clinical diagnostics; cancer biomarkers, proteomics, assay development

    AHCMCC2 - Image - Fang Li_70x80

    Fang Li, Ph.D.
    Structures and functions of mammalian-cell-surface enzymes that are critical for tumor cell growth; development of novel therapy strategies to treat human diseaes

    AHCMCC2 - Image - Emil_Lou 70x80

    Emil Lou, M.D., Ph.D.
    Investigation of tumor heterogeneity and intercellular communication in a spectrum of invasive and aggressive solid tumor malignancies; biology of cancer cells as they relate to cancer cell invasion, progression, tumor recurrence, and chemotherapy resistance; the role of TnTs as an important mode of intercellular communication in cancer and in tumor-stromal cross-talk in the complex and heterogeneous tumor microenvironment.

    AHCMCC2 - Image - 70x80 - Kevin Mayo

    Kevin Mayo, Ph.D.
    Molecular structural characterization using NMR for the development of anti-angiogenic therapies; development of molecules that disrupt tumor angiogenesis and extracellular glycoproteins important in tumor migration and adhesion

    AHCMCC - Image - 70x80 -  McCarthy_James

    James McCarthy, Ph.D.
    Changes in the relationships between tumor cells and the surrounding extracellular matrix in tumor progression and metastasis, focusing on melanoma and prostate cancer; hyaluronan synthesis in prostate tumor growth, invasion, and metastasis to bone and other organs

    AHCMCC2 - Image - 70x80 - Greg Metzger

    Gregory Metzger, Ph.D.
    Development of a prostate imaging program at the Center for Magnetic Resonance Research with the initial goal to investigate the potential of magnetic resonance imaging and spectroscopy to noninvasively determine the extent and aggressiveness of prostate cancer in clinical studies

    AHCMCC - Image - 70x80 -  Odde_David

    David Odde, Ph.D.
    Cellular and molecular bioengineering in cancer

    AQHCMCC2 - Image - Brenda Ogle 70x80

    Brenda Ogle, Ph.D.
    Mechanisms of stem cell differenatiation; generation oif new technologies that advance stem cell biology and promote translation of stem cell research into clinical practice

    AHCMCC2 - Image - 70x80 - Paolo Provenzano

    Paolo Provenzano, Ph.D.
    Molecular mechanisms by which the stromal extracellular matrix and stromal cell populations influence epithelial cell behavior in cancer; understanding the complex interactions of biochemical factors, matrix architecture and matrix mechanical properties especially as they pertain to progression in breast and pancreatic cancer

    AHCMCC2 - Image - 70x80 - Sundaram Ramakrishnan

    Sundaram Ramakrishnan, Ph.D.
    Biology of human ovarian cancer and the development of therapeutic strategies for the selective elimination of tumor cells; potential of targeting toxin molecules to tumor cells by linking them to specific MABs using recombinant DNA methods to improve cytotoxicity, increase the half-life of conjugates in circulation, and achieve better tumor localization and penetration.

    AHCMCC - Image - 70x80 -  Schwertfeger_Kaylee

    Kaylee Schwertfeger, Ph.D.
    Mechanisms through which infiltrating inflammatory cells and their soluble mediators contribute to mammary tumor formation

    AHCMCC2 - Image - 70x80 - Donald Simone

    Donald Simone, Ph.D.
    Mechanisms of cancer pain associated with bone metastasis and chemotherapy-induced neuropathy

    AHCMCC - Image - 70x80 -  Skubitz_Amy

    Amy Skubitz, Ph.D.
    Basic mechanisms associated in ovarian cancer spread, and the interactions of beta-1 integrin subunits and CD44 on the surfaces of ovarian carcinoma cells and mesothelial cells; identification of biomarkers that can be used for detection and prognosis of ovarian cancer

    AHCMCC - Image - 70x80 -  Vallera_Daniel

    Daniel Vallera, Ph.D.
    Development of novel anticancer therapeutics focusing on the genetic engineering of cancer biologicals as alternative therapies for drug refractory cancer

    Michael Wilson, Ph.D.
    How cell surface proteolysis modulates the tumor microenvironment to facilitate cancer growth, invasion, and metastasis

    AHCMCC2 - Image - 70x80 - David Wood

    David Wood, Ph.D.
    Development of in vitro tumor models that incorporate key microenvironmental cues that affect tumor development as well as the unique vascular architecture to better understand the process of metastasis - how cancer cells spread through the vasculature from one site to another,  as well as how nanoparticles carrying chemotherapeutics or gene silencing siRNA, re most efficiently delivered to a tumor.

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  • Last modified on March 29, 2016