Associate Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
University of Notre Dame
Cell and organ growth control in genetic model systems of epithelial tumor formation
Many of the first uncovered oncogenes were discovered or characterized in the genetic model organism Drosophila, which is equipped with powerful tools for dissecting gene function in vivo. However, many questions require the application of in vitro methods, which are currently limited by the challenging process of creating defined cell lines and optimized culture conditions for organ culture.
Research in our lab focuses on investigating and defining how both intrinsic and extrinsic factors coordinate growth and homeostasis both in vitro and in vivo. This research offers the potential to reveal important insights into why cancer cells are less dependent on contextual cues from the culture milieu than normal cells. Using both bio- and engineering skill sets, we are working to develop and leverage quantitative analyses of cell and tissue growth in the design of new, useful genetic model systems and preclinical screening approaches for cancer research.
Awards, honors, special achievements:
- Invited Visiting scholar, Northwestern University, NSF-Simons Center for Quantitative Biology (9/3-11/30/2019)
- Michiana 40 under 40 award (2019)
- I was invited to become an Editorial Board Member (Biophysical Journal, 3 year term starting in January 2020)
Find more info on Dr. Zartman here.