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Tolu Omokehinde

Department: Cancer Biology

Faculty Mentor: Rachelle Johnson, Ph.D.

Dissertation Description: The Role of Oncostatin M in Breast Cancer Metastasis to Bone

Breast cancer cells commonly metastasize to the bone and can remain in a dormant state for years before developing into a bone metastasis. The signaling pathways that promote breast cancer bone colonization are not fully understood but several of the interleukin-6 (IL-6) family cytokines have been implicated in this process. This family of cytokines displays a multitude of effects on various breast cancer cells but I will be focusing on oncastatin M (OSM) and its receptor (OSMR). Previous studies indicate that OSM inhibits breast cancer cell proliferation, but the downstream mediators of OSMR remain unknown. My project focuses on understanding the role for OSMR and its ligand OSM in breast cancer bone colonization and elucidating the pathways activated by this family of cytokines in breast cancer.