Dr. Jenny Munson, Biomedical Engineer

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Assistant Professor, Biomedical Engineering
School of Engineering & Applied Science
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ONCO-ENGINEERING: Engineering Cancer to Cure It

The Munson Lab’s mission is to investigate and evaluate the tumor microenvironment, the tissue around a tumor that is involved in invasion and metastasis, by engineering dynamic and clinically relevant models to identify and improve therapeutic approaches to cancer.  We design and use 3D tissue engineered models based on patients’ cancers and validate our work in vivo. Our primary research questions are what is the role of tissue drainage and the tumor stroma in cancer progression and therapeutic response. How cancer interacts with the tissue around it is an emerging theme of cancer research. Each individual’s cancer is unique and so are their healthy tissues. We create 3D in vitro models of cancer in which we can study the human tumor microenvironment and explore the contributions of cells and proteins to cancer malignancy and therapeutic response.

We collaborate extensively with the School of Medicine to make our research translational and applicable to patients with cancer. For example, therapeutic selection is still poorly defined for most cancers. By developing patient-derived and designed systems in which to test therapeutics before they’re given to the patient, we help oncologists make the best decisions. Once we know what’s wrong in the tumor microenvironment, we can target nanoparticle therapeutics to the tumor and fix it. Diagnostic tools for assessing the microenvironment without need for tissue samples can close the loop on our personalized microenvironment therapy.

 

Breast Tumor Microenvironment

Breast Tumor Microenvironment

 

LEARN MORE

Visit Dr. Munson’s lab to see engineered cells and read their latest research.


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Sponsored by the NSF ADVANCE AWARD #1209197.