Tumor Angiogenesis Angiogenesis, the formation of new capillaries, is an essential process in many physiological and pathological events. In cancers, new vasculature promotes tumor growth and metastasis. We are examining how tumors develop and particularly how they induce the angiogenic response that is essential for their survival. Vascular permeability factor/vascular endothelial growth factor (VPF/VEGF) has been implicated in the new vessel development found in most tumors including renal cell carcinoma and breast cancer. Although the mechanism of these complex processes remain unclear, we are investigating the importance of VPF/VEGF as well as its signaling pathways to elucidate the mechanisms by which VPF/VEGF functions in a variety of tumor models. Moreover, we are also studying the role of other angiogenic related factors such as VEGF C and VEGF D and PIGF in tumor angiogenesis and metastasis.
Nanotechnology The use of nanotechnology in biology has grown over recent years, incorporating the use of reagents such as gold nanoparticles to directly deliver bioconjugates. We are examining the use of these gold nanoparticles and other bioconjugates as messengers to deliver reagents that are capable of manipulating the angiogenic response in vivo.