About the speaker:
Geraldine O’Neill is Group Leader in the Children’s Cancer Research Unit and Conjoint Associate Professor at the University of Sydney. She has an internationally recognized program of research on cancer cell migration and invasion. Her work has attracted funding from NHMRC, ARC and NSW Cancer Council and the value of her research to the community is recognized by substantial support from philanthropic organizations. Her awards include an NHMRC Howard Florey post-doctoral fellowship, the inaugural NSW Cancer Council Career Development Fellowship, a NSW/ACT Australian Institute of Policy and Science Young Tall Poppy award and awards for excellence in student supervision. Her research aims to demonstrate how cells coordinate the dynamics of focal adhesions and actin filaments which respectively form the “wheels and chassis” that drive the spread of cancer cells.
About the seminar:
The progression to invasive, metastatic cancer is the leading cause of death from cancer. Our research aims to understand how cells coordinate adhesion to the extra-cellular environment with the internal actin cytoskeleton in order to negotiate 3-dimensional (3D) tissue in the body. Conventionally, cancer invasion is analysed using a two-dimensional (2D) cell-culture assay, in which cancer cells migrate across a flat, hard surface. However, these assays do not recapitulate the 3D environment that is encountered by invasive cancer cells in the body. Our approach is to use cell-culture model systems that mimic the natural tissue organisation in the body. I will present our research investigating how cancer cells interpret the biophysical cues, such as tissue stiffness and 3D architecture, of the surrounding tissue during invasion
Lunch will be provided for attendees following the seminar.