Our lab investigates the role of heterogeneity in cell state transitions, cancer progression, and therapeutic responses.
Drug resistance of tumor cells is the cause of treatment failure for most human cancers. Acquired resistance was observed in the very first trial of a chemotherapeutic in 1942. Since that time, vast improvements in chemotherapy- including novel drugs, combination therapies, reduced toxicity, and highly targeted treatments- have extended the lives of many cancer patients. Yet drug resistance remains a major scientific and clinical challenge in the treatment of human cancer.
Tumor cell populations are characterized by enormous heterogeneity and plasticity. This variation contributes to disease progression and response to therapy, although the mechanisms are not yet well understood. To address these challenges, we are developing novel technologies and experimental systems rooted in the tools of systems and synthetic biology and bioengineering.
4/2018 Kaitlyn Johnson, 2nd year student in the BME program, has been awarded a competitive NSF Graduate Research Fellowship! Congratulations to Kaitlyn on this recognition of her research and leadership contributions!
3/2018 The Brock lab has been awarded funding by the Department of Defense (DOD) Peer-Reviewed Cancer Research Program to investigate colorectal carcinoma responses to chemotherapy. We will partner with the Livestrong Cancer Center at Dell Medical School for these studies.
2/2018 The lab has received new funding from the Department of Defense (DOD) Ovarian Cancer Research Program to address the challenge of chemoresistance in ovarian cancer patients.
1/2018 First R01 funding awarded to the Brock Lab! We are grateful to the National Cancer Institute at NIH for funding to carry out a 5-year study of the role of heterogeneity in tumor initiation.