Age-Related changes in the Tumour Microenvironment drive Tumour progression

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Dr. Stewart is the Gerty T. Cori Professor of Cell Biology and Physiology in the Department of Cell Biology and Physiology and Medicine at Washington University in St. Louis, the Vice Chair of Cell Biology and Physiology, and the Associate Director for Basic Science at the Siteman Cancer Center. She received her Ph.D. in Microbiology and Immunology from UCLA in 1997 where she studied HTLV and HIV biology and completed her postdoctoral fellowship in Cancer Biology at the Whitehead Institute at MIT in Robert Weinberg’s laboratory. In her own laboratory, Dr. Stewart has studied telomere dynamics and spent the majority of her time trying to understand how age-related changes in the tumor microenvironment impact tumorigenesis. Her laboratory has shown that aged stromal cells, similar to cancer associated fibroblasts, express a plethora of p38MAPK/MK2-dependent pro-tumorigenic factors and has developed murine models to explore the role senescent stromal cells play in the preneoplastic and premetastatic niches. More recently, her group has begun to explore how some of these same changes contribute to therapy-induced comorbidities. In addition, the laboratory is examining how age-related changes in the premetastatic niche facilitate tumor cell seeding, dormancy and outgrowth and how these changes alter the local immune response to facilitate tumor cell proliferation.