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Chakrabarti Lab

Aggressive breast cancer, cell fate regulators, tumor-stromal cell crosstalk, immunotherapy, immune cell metabolism

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Investigator / Contact Person Rumela Chakrabarti, Ph.D.

Research Focus

Cancer happens when normal cells go awry. Our laboratory focuses on cell signaling events that are required for normal breast development, but which are also exploited during cancer initiation and progression. We have identified novel cell fate regulators involving Notch and Wnt signaling and are currently investigating the function of them in drug and radio resistance promoting metastases, tumor cells dissemination, recurrence etc. In parallel, we also focus on the role of immune cells such as tumor macrophages, myeloid derived suppressor cells and cancer fibroblasts in tumor microenvironment shaping the fate of cancer stem cells during relapse, recurrence and metastasis. We have developed a wide variety mouse tumor models and utilizes human patients’ samples, organoid co-culture, PDX, confocal microscopy, RNA-sequencing, single cell sequencing besides other standard molecular and biochemical techniques to address these questions. Our long-term goal is to identify novel combination therapies targeting both stromal and cancer cells to ultimately decrease patient mortality associated with aggressive breast cancer such as triple negative breast cancer (TNBC).

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