The Naik lab will explore whether prior inflammatory reactions can predispose tissues to becoming more susceptible to cancer. The skin, for example, routinely encounters inflammation-inducing stressors and is a common site of tumorigenesis. However, there is a dearth of information on how acute inflammatory events alter the skin’s microenvironment in the long term and consequently its vulnerability to carcinogens. We found that even after skin inflammation has completely subsided, carcinogen exposure results in five times more tumors than in skin without a prior history of inflammation. Now, using a mouse model of squamous cell carcinoma coupled with high-resolution single-cell sequencing techniques, we will trace the evolution of tumor-forming cells and their microenvironment following resolution from a range of inflammatory attacks. These studies will uncover the factors that help provide a growth advantage to tumorigenic cells in inflammation-primed tissues and identify potential biomarkers for predicting cancer risk.