The research of Gina Razidlo, Ph.D., focuses on cancer metastasis, which is the spread of cancer cells throughout the body. Metastasis is one of the primary causes of cancer death, but therapies do not exist that specifically stop the dissemination of cancer cells.
Using cell biology and biochemical strategies, Dr. Razidlo and colleagues investigate the mechanisms of tumor cell invasion and migration.
The goal of Dr. Razidlo's research is to understand how tumor cells invade and spread, particularly in pancreatic cancer, with the hope of designing therapies to stop the spread of cancer and improve patient survival.
- Cytoskeletal signaling and metastasis. The actin cytoskeleton provides the structural and mechanical framework for cell migration and invasion. Dr. Razidlo and colleagues study how novel regulators of the actin cytoskeleton control pro-invasive signaling pathways and the structural changes that drive pancreatic cancer cell metastasis.
- Inflammation and metastasis. Chronic inflammation is associated with increased cancer risk and metastasis. Dr. Razidlo is investigating how specific inflammatory signals make tumor cells more invasive, and how cancer cells themselves contribute to the inflammatory environment in tumors.
Significance to patient care
Novel strategies for cancer treatment are required to improve patient outcomes. These therapies should target all aspects of tumor formation, growth and metastasis. By understanding the basic biology of cancer cells, Dr. Razidlo hopes to identify new targets for cancer therapy, particularly to halt the spread of malignant tumor cells. In addition, the findings from this research will improve the understanding of cell behavior in both normal cells and other disease states.
- Member, Committee for Postdocs and Students (COMPASS), American Society for Cell Biology, 2013-2015