Our research program focuses on the application of multiphoton laser-scanning microscopy (MPLSM) to the study of biological processes in vivo, i.e. in living, intact tissue. We undertake the creation of novel MPLSM-based imaging and measurement techniques, as well as their application to the study of tumor biology in vivo, with an emphasis on the biology and biophysics of breast cancer.
One of our major projects involves the use of Second Harmonic Generation to study the tumor extracellular matrix, and understand its impact on the process of tumor metastasis. The extracellular matrix plays a role in diffusive transport, which is the focus of another major project where we adapt and utilize the technique known as Multiphoton Fluorescence Recovery After Photobleaching, in order to study diffusive transport within tumor tissue. Two other major projects use the superior in vivo imaging ability of MPLSM to explore the signaling pathways responsible for angiogenesis, the growth of new blood vessels in tumors. In one, we are studying the calcium handling machinery within endothelial cells in living tumors, while in another, we are studying the role of the sympathetic nervous system in inducing angiogenesis and tumor growth. We are currently expanding the laboratory, and are looking to recruit promising post-doctoral fellows or graduate students with experience in microscopy, physics, and/or tumor biology.