Our grant application 1R01CA234496-01 was selected for funding by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). This grant will support the lab from 2019-2024 with annually $353,419 in total funding to elucidate microenvironmental control mechanisms that regulate breast tumorigenesis such as during BRCA1-driven breast cancer. While the microenvironment has been studied extensively in later stages of tumor progression, it remains largely elusive whether changes in the non-malignant stroma can contribute to increased cancer susceptibility and tumor initiation. Ultimately we hope that this work will lead to the development improved methods for breast cancer early detection and novel approaches for primary cancer prevention.
The Kessenbrock Lab studies cellular communication in single cell resolution in the context of normal tissue homeostasis and in breast cancer. We want to understand how stem cell behavior is extrinsically regulated by the microenvironment of the mammary stem cell niche and learn how the molecular composition of the niche changes during tumorigenesis. Our interdisciplinary research approach will identify biomarkers for early detection and may ultimately lead to the discovery of novel therapeutic approaches to treat or even prevent breast cancer before it develops.
Kai Kessenbrock, Ph.D.
University of California, Irvine
School of Medicine
Department of Biological Chemistry
Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center
Center for Complex Biological Systems
Sue and Bill Gross Stem Cell Research Center