2005 Individual Investigator Grant Recipient – Jill K. Slack-Davis
Jill K. Slack-Davis, Ph.D.
University of Virginia, Charlottesville
How Ovarian Cancer Cells Might Metastasize
Ovarian cancer metastasis is a complex process involving multiple routes, one of which includes attaching to and invading the mesothelium, a membrane that forms the lining of body cavities, to grow into the tissue on the other side. Very little is known about the mechanisms that regulate ovarian cancer metastasis. The goal of this project is to characterize the response of the mesothelium to invading cancer cells using a cell culture system. The system allows Dr. Slack-Davis to identify and characterize the structural changes of the mesothelial cells and the signaling pathways activated within mesothelial cells that promote their separation to allow passage of the ovarian cancer cells. Understanding the mechanisms that disrupt mesothelial integrity would provide additional sites for therapeutic intervention.