Sherwood Lab

The Sherwood lab is focused on understanding mechanisms driving critical, but poorly understood cellular behaviors underlying normal development and cancer progression. We utilize C. elegans, where its simple cellular complexity and amenability to experimental analysis facilitates mechanistic insights into fundamental cellular processes.  We combine genetic analysis, evolutionary comparisons and live-cell imaging to address three important cellular behaviors:

  • How cells invade and remodel basement membrane barriers.
  • How stem cells induce their niches both normally and ectopically.
  • How cells arrest, maintain dormancy and then reactivate growth and migration.

Cell invasion, stem cell survival and cellular dormancy are critical and poorly understood aspects of development and cancer progression. By revealing the mechanistic underpinnings of these cellular processes in C. elegans our work is establishing new fields of study and better strategies to treat cancer.


We are grateful to the March of Dimes, American Cancer Society, Pew Foundation, Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Hargitt Foundation, Duke University, the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation for supporting our research.