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|Phone: (646) 977-7241|
The Hannon Lab at the New York Genome Center focuses on understanding the causes and consequences of tumor heterogeneity with a particular interest in breast cancer progression. It is increasingly clear that, rather than being a single entity, human tumors are incredibly heterogeneous not only between patients but also within a tumor in a single patient. Genetic and phenotypic heterogeneity not only influence tumor growth but also underlie tumor progression, adaptability and response to therapy. We use computational tools, clinical samples and in vivo models, where individual cells can be tracked over time, coupled with next-generation sequencing technologies to understand how tumor heterogeneity arises and influences tumor progression and metastasis. Using these models, we recently identified a critical role for vascular mimicry in driving metastasis. Vascular mimicry involves the formation of pseudo blood vessels, lined with tumor cells that have developed endothelial-like properties and is associated with reduced patient survival across many different tumor types. Current projects in the lab focus on deciphering the enigmatic molecular underpinnings of vascular mimicry and the genetic evolution during progression from early breast cancer lesions, such as DCIS (ductal carcinoma in situ) to invasive disease.