Our laboratory have pioneered both the development and use of three-dimensional culture methods for modeling carcinoma of breast and pancreas and understanding the unexplored role played by cell polarity proteins in regulating the biology of cancer.

Studies by our team have identified, for the first time, cell polarity proteins such as PARD6, PARD3 and SCRIB, as critical regulators of cell death, cell proliferation and metastasis either by themselves or in cooperation with oncogenes such as ERBB2 and MYC in breast cancer. We continue to investigate and discover how cell polarity proteins regulate cell biology of cancer and normal cells and its impact on stress adaptation and therapy resistance.

In 2001, we developed a 3D cell culture method to use the human breast epithelial line, MCF-10A, to make breast acini-like structures in culture. This has opened a new way of thinking and investigating biology of normal and cancer cells and is now widely adapted by the breast cancer research community worldwide. More recently, 2015, we developed a new 3D culture model to generate pancreatic organoids composed of either ductal or acinar (exocrine) cells from pluripotent human stem cells. This method opens the door, for the first time, to model human exocrine pancreatic diseases such as pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer in culture.

Lastly, we have a new initiative in our lab to bridge cancer biology and clinical cancer care, which we call “Microscope to Stethoscope”. Our team is developing and implementing personalized tumor organoid culture platforms to assist patients and oncologists  by performing a lab-based screen of available treatment options to identify the best possible cancer treatment for each patient. This effort is married to our long-standing interest in using patient-derived tumor models for translational and discovery research to find better cancer treatments.

If you need additional information or access our protocols and reagents, feel free to explore this website or contact us directly.