Diane Bielenberg, PhD
Diane Bielenberg, PhD
Dept of Surgery
Harvard Medical School, Children's Hospital
300 Longwood Ave
Boston MA 02115
Member of the Following FASEB Societies:
American Society for Investigative Pathology
The Bielenberg laboratory is interested in cancer biology and the study of metastasis.
Metastasis, the spread of cancer cells to distant sites, is the most common cause of death in cancer patients. There are two main routes by which tumor cells disseminate, through blood vessels and through lymphatic vessels. Besides providing nutrients, tumor blood vessels also serve as an escape route for tumor cells. Therefore, therapies aimed at inhibiting angiogenesis should not only block tumor growth but also metastasis. Tumor blood vessels are leaky and lead to increased fluid volume and pressure in the interstitial space. Peri-tumoral lymphatic vessels grow in size to compensate and drain this increased fluid and sometimes sprout into the tumor. Tumor-associated lymphatic capillaries can increase 10-50 times in diameter. These enlarged lymphatic vessels serve as the primary escape route for tumor cells, and indeed, sentinel lymph node metastases are often the first sign of malignancy. The lymphatic system returns fluid back to the blood vascular system through the thoracic duct, therefore tumor cells exiting through lymphatic vessels can spread throughout the body. Therapies aimed at inhibiting lymphangiogenesis are being explored in the Bielenberg laboratory.
The Bielenberg laboratory is pursuing several projects related to the topic of metastasis and the inhibition of tumor angiogenesis and lymphangiogenesis. Specifically, we are examining the effect of Semaphorin 3F, a ligand of Neuropilin 2, on tumor growth, angiogenesis, lymphangiogenesis, and metastasis. Investigating the expression and regulation of the Neuropilin 2 receptor on blood vessels and lymphatic vessels using transgenic mice. Summer students will gain experience in immunohistochemistry, cell culture, and animal models.
INTERESTED UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS CONTACT:
Dr. Diane Bielenberg
phone: (617) 919-2428