Marjan Rafat, Ph.D.
Breast cancer; Cell motility and migration; Normal tissue response to radiation; Tumor microenvironment; Immune modulation
Our research combines engineering and biomedical science to elucidate the mechanisms driving breast cancer recurrence and metastasis. Our laboratory examines the relationship between tumor cells, normal tissues, and the immune system to better understand how each component contributes to metastasis and relapse after therapy. Specifically, we study the collateral effect of radiation and surgery of normal tissues on tumor and immune cell migration patterns, inflammatory responses following tissue damage, and changes in extracellular matrix remodeling of the tumor microenvironment and surrounding normal tissues resulting from therapy. We analyze the physical, chemical, and biological cues that influence cancer metastasis and recurrence to make discoveries at the interface of engineering and medicine.