Shelly Peyton, Ph.D.

Title
Assistant Professor
Department
Chemical Engineering
Institution
University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Address
Goessmann 154D
686 N. Pleasant Street
City, State, Zip
Amherst, MA 01003-9303
Phone
(413) 545-1133
E-mail
speyton[at]ecs.umass.edu
Website
http://peyton.openwetware.org/
Research Field
Bioengineering
Award Year
2013

Research

Our lab focuses on the mechanisms behind cancer spread. The scientific community has known for several decades that breast cancer metastasis is not random, but, instead, has a predilection to spread to certain tissues. For instance, tumors with amplified expression of the gene HER2 are more likely to spread to the brain than luminal tumors. This non-random metastasis is known as 'tissue tropism,' and there exists no scientific explanation for the phenomenon. We aim to determine the link between metastatic spread and tissue-specific stem cells that populate and remodel themselves at tissue sites across the body. We will create a novel library of biomaterial systems for studying breast cancer to find a mechanism for tissue tropism. Our work could provide new targets for therapeutic intervention for metastatic cancers of all types, and the tools we develop could be distributed and adopted by non-engineering cancer labs around the country.