Associate Professor     Environmental Health and Engineering   Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering  Oncology

Associate Professor

Environmental Health and Engineering

Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering


Research Overview

Prostate cancer (PCa) is a leading cause of cancer death in men due to the subset of cancers that metastasize to surrounding tissue.  Understanding the mechanisms of cancer metastasis represents an unmet clinical need, and constitutes my long-term goal.

 In a mechanical framework of metastatic-invasion of cancers, the ability of an individual cancer cell to evade its primitive tumor ecosystem, emigrate through its local stroma constituting a tortuous extracellular matrix (ECM), and disseminate to target organs entail, in time and space, biophysical transgressions in the cell-cell and cell-ECM interaction.  However explicit this mechanical interplay might appear, to date, the rudimentary physics of cancer cell metastasis remains largely unexplained.  It is equally unclear what cancer cells are primed to sense and avoid; how these external chemical and/or physical cues are assimilated; and, to what extent these signals are integrated with mechanical forces driving local cellular motions to metastatic-invasion of cancers.

Biophysics and Structural Biology | Cancer BiologyGenetics, Genomics and Gene Regulation

Selected Publications:

Haffner MC, Esopi DM, Chaux A, Gürel M, Ghosh S, Vaghasia AM, Tsai H, Kim K, Castagna N, Lam H, Hicks J, Whys N, Biswal Shinohara D, Hurley PJ, Simons BW, Schaeffer EM, Lotan TL, Isaacs WB, Netto GJ, De Marzo AM, Nelson WG, An SS, and Yegnasubramanian S. AIM1 is an actin binding protein that suppresses cell migration and micrometastatic dissemination. Nat Commun 2017 PMID:28747635.

Park J, Kim DH, Kim HN, Wang CJ, Kwak MK, Hur E, Suh KY, An SS, Levchenko A. Directed migration of cancer cells guided by the graded texture of the underlying matrix. Nat Mater. 2016 PMID: 26974411.

Moon YW, Rao G, Kim J, Shim HS, Park KS, An SS, Kim B, Steeg PS, Sarfaraz S, Lee C, Voeller D, Choi EY, Luo J, Palmieri D, Chung HC, Kim JH, Wang Y, and Giaccone G. LAMC2 enhances metastatic potential in lung adenocarcinoma. Cell Death Differ. 2015 PMID: 25591736.

Hurley PJ, Hughes RM, Simons BW, Huang J, Miller RM, Shinder B, Haffner MC, Esopi D, Kimura Y, Jabbari J, Ross AE, Erho N, Vergara IA, Faraj SF, Davicioni E, Netto GJ, Yegnasubramanian S, An SS, Schaeffer EM. Androgen-Regulated SPARCL1 in the Tumor Microenvironment Inhibits Metastatic Progression. Cancer Res. 2015 PMID: 26294211.

Shiraishi T, Verdone JE, Huang J, Kahlert UD, Hernandez JR, Torga G, Zarif JC, Epstein T, Gatenby R, McCartney A, Elisseeff JH, Mooney SM, An SS, Pienta KJ. Glycolysis is the primary bioenergetic pathway for cell motility and cytoskeletal remodeling in human prostate and breast cancer cells. Oncotarget. 2015 PMID: 25426557.

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