Tumor-microbiome interactions in the perivascular niche

VEGF gradient

We hypothesize that circulating bacterial factors impact tumor progression at all stages of disease. An example is the vascular alteration we observe resulting from low dose LPS exposure (below), which may be implicated in tumor growth dynamics and treatment response. We are focussed on developing in vitro models to study tumor-microbe interactions, requiring advances both in the modeling of systemic tumor processes leveraging engineered vascularized tissues (above), as well as in vitro modeling of the human microbiome. The project involves collaboration with several other researchers at Virginia Tech, including Liwu Li in Biological Sciences, and Daniel Slade in Biochemistry.

LPS

Related recent papers:

Endothelial cell sensing, restructuring, and invasion in collagen hydrogel structures, Integrative Biology, 2015

3D culture broadly regulates tumor cell hypoxia response and angiogenesis via pro-inflammatory pathways, Biomaterials, 2015

Physicochemical regulation of endothelial sprouting in a 3-D microfluidic angiogenesis model, Journal of Biomedical Materials Research Part A, 2013

Funding:
This project is supported by the Virginia Tech Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science (ICTAS), and by the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering of the National Institutes of Health under award number R21EB019123.

ICTAS_new nih