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Banerjee Lab

Metabolic Regulation of Tumor Progression

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Investigator / Contact Person Sulagna Banerjee

Research

Tumor-Initiating Cell (TIC) plasticity is the dynamic interconversion between TIC and non-TIC population in a tumor. This is responsible for evasion of chemotherapy and resistance to standards-of-care. However, molecular signature leading to this phenomenon remains an enigma in pancreatic cancer. The heterogeneity in the tumor microenvironment is known to play a significant role in TIC plasticity. As the tumor progresses, a hypoxic niche develops in the tumor which in turn upregulates the stemness genes. Dr. Banerjee’s research focus is geared towards understanding the molecular signatures that are responsible for TIC plasticity and thus are instrumental for the chemoresistant phenotype of the tumor. Understanding this is critical for the development of viable therapy as therapies aimed at eradicating TICs may ultimately fail if non-TIC populations can recreate the TIC pool. Thus, identifying the hallmarks of cancers with the potential to undergo phenotype switching will be of fundamental importance.