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Demond Williams

Department: Cancer Biology

Faculty Mentor: Barbara Fingleton, Ph.D.

Dissertation Description: Matrix Metalloproteinases and Tumor-Microenvironment Interaction

The major research interest of the Fingleton lab is tumor-microenvironment interactions. The lab focuses on matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) and the cytokines IL4 and IL13. A combination of genetically manipulated mouse models and cell cultures experiments are used to characterize functions of the MMPs in tumor progression. Currently, determining the role of MMP10 in tumor-associated macrophages and how macrophage activity in colitis could influence tumor development are ongoing. The lab has shown that signaling through the IL4 receptor promotes metastatic survival, and its role in chemoresistance in advanced colon cancer is being pursued.