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Research and Labs

The Brekken Laboratory

The Brekken laboratory is located in the Hamon Center for Therapeutic Oncology Research and studies tumor-host interactions with a particular emphasis on extracellular matrix (ECM) and angiogenesis. The biology of metastasis is the central focus for the lab. The lab studies how angiogenesis and ECM remodeling are key components of the metastatic cascade. Current projects are focused on the function of matricellular proteins (e.g., SPARC and fibulin-5) as regulators of ECM remodeling and angiogenesis.

Another major area of study in the lab is the development and evaluation of novel therapy for cancer with a particular focus on anti-angiogenic strategies. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is a primary stimulant of blood vessel growth in tumors and as such is a relevant target for anti-angiogenic intervention. Currently we are studying the mechanism of anti-VEGF therapy and how inhibition of VEGF activity affects the tumor microenvironment.