The Birsoy lab studies metabolic changes that occur in cancer cells during tumor formation and metastasis. Metastasis, or the spread of cancer cells to other organs, is the primary cause of death from solid cancers. The process by which cancer cells spread, however, is rather inefficient, and only a small portion of circulating tumor cells have the ability to grow in a new organ. Colonization of distant organs requires the tumor cells to rewire themselves to cope with an environment that is very different from the site of the original tumor. My lab will study the impact that different organ environments—such as the lung, brain, or liver—have on the colonization of cancer cells. Using a combination of cutting-edge metabolomic and genetic technologies, we will define how cancer cells use their metabolic pathways throughout stages of cancer progression and will identify the metabolic processes critical for cancer cells to grow and colonize secondary sites. Research from our group could provide new insight into cellular pathways that contribute to cancer cell spread and inform the development of new anti-cancer therapies.