The Sherwood lab is interested in understanding mechanisms that drive dynamic cellular behaviors underlying normal development and cancer progression. We study 1) how cells invade into tissues, 2) How stem cells induce their niches, and 3) How cells arrest, maintain dormancy and then reactivate growth and migration. Our lab primarily examines C. elegans development, in which simple cellular complexity, amenability to experimental analysis, and evolutionary comparisons facilitates powerful insights into these cellular behaviors. One particular emphasis of the lab is using live-cell imaging, where we watch these cellular behaviors unfold in real-time to better understand their regulation and function. Cell invasion, cancer stem cell survival and tumor dormancy are some of the most crucial, yet least understood aspects of metastatic cancer progression. By revealing the mechanistic underpinnings of these basic and fascinating cellular processes our work is providing insight into fundamental aspects of normal development and human diseases such as 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.