The research of Alexander Meves, M.D., focuses on studying the interaction of cells with their extracellular environment. These interactions play a role in many medically relevant biological processes including cancer, wound healing and aging. Specifically, Dr. Meves' laboratory aims to develop cutting-edge methods to diagnose and treat melanoma. Dr. Meves also studies new approaches to improve wound healing.
- Molecular risk factors of metastasis. By analyzing patient-derived melanoma tissue, Dr. Meves identified a series of factors that increase the likelihood of melanoma disease progression. His research group is studying the biology of these factors to determine whether they can be targeted by drugs to better treat melanoma and improve survival.
- New treatments for wound healing and scarring. Dr. Meves discovered medicines that may inhibit excessive scarring. His group is analyzing the effects of these medicines in preclinical models and early clinical trials.
Significance to patient care
The ability to distinguish between lethal cancers that need treating and nonlethal cancers that do not could revolutionize the way we prevent, diagnose and treat cancer. Dr. Meves' research aims to address this challenge specifically in the context of cutaneous melanoma. He and his colleagues apply knowledge on the interplay between cells and their extracellular environment to distinguish between melanoma that needs aggressive treatment and indolent melanoma that does not.
Because the biology that underpins aggressive cancer also drives excessive scarring in the skin, Dr. Meves' research team aims to develop better treatments for patients with hypertrophic scars and other types of skin scars.
- Recipient, Career Development Award, National Cancer Institute, 2017