Exploring the nerve-tumor interface
Peripheral nerves play critical roles in promoting tumor growth. However, the molecular partners at the nerve-tumor interface supporting nerve-dependent tumor growth is still an active area of investigation. Our lab explores the molecular make-up of the nerve-tumor interface in prostate and breast cancer models. Our goal is to develop nerve-based therapeutics for treatment-resistant prostate and breast cancers.
Peripheral nerve regeneration
Peripheral nerve injury can lead to irreversible loss of sensory and motor functions. Currently, no effective therapies exist that could bring back full functional recovery after nerve injuries. The unsustained and slow growth rate of injured nerve fibres (axons), leading to long-term denervation and atrophy of target tissues, are the major challenges. Therapeutics that can sustain and increase the growth rate of axons may improve functional recovery. Our lab explores novel approaches to improve nerve regeneration by studying the mechanism of rapid nerve growth in tumors.
Biology of tissue-resident self-renewing macrophage
Tissue-resident, self-renewing macrophages are unique population of macrophages different from the monocyte-derived counterparts. Their functional identity, especially in the peripheral nervous system (PNS), is not known. We explore the molecular and functional identity of self-renewing macrophages in the PNS and at the nerve-tumor interface. These info will be used for developing new therapeutics for neurodegenerative disorders and cancer.