The overall goal of Dr. Briegel research is to elucidate the molecular mechanisms underlying normal mammary gland development that when perturbed lead to breast cancer. Her focus is on WNT signaling and developmental transcription factors that control breast stem cell self-renewal/maintenance and cell lineage specification. Deregulation of these factors is increasingly thought to drive the formation of treatment-resistant cancer stem cells, breast cancer heterogeneity, and metastatic tumor progression. She uses genetic mouse models and human cell culture models for normal and neoplastic mammary epithelial development in combination with molecular/biochemical, Deep Sequencing, proteomics approaches and Immunohistochemical analysis of clinical samples to unravel the mechanistic functions of these factors. Her long-term goal is to develop cancer stem cell-targeted interventions to prevent and reduce the mortality from metastatic breast cancer.