María Virumbrales-Muñoz

Assistant Professor


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Room: H4/658
600 Highland Avenue
Madison, WI 53593

Ph: (608) 890-3649

Primary Affiliation:
Biomedical Engineering

Additional Affiliations:
School of Medicine and Public Health

Profile Summary

My research focuses on understanding the microenvironmental cues driving cancer progression and metastasis, with a specific focus on finding molecular targets to slow these processes. To this end, we generate physiologically relevant 3D models of tissue microenvironments using microfluidic technologies (i.e., small platforms handling volumes in the microscale). These technologies allow us to assemble different cell types in structures that resemble tissue organization, and cancer progression in these tissues. Specifically, we work on modeling the Fallopian tube and omentum for ovarian cancer metastasis, modeling the mammary duct for breast cancer, and the renal tubule for kidney cancer. We use a combination of molecular and functional techniques (e.g., microscopy with fluorescent reporters, bead-based ELISA) to characterize these models and evaluate the role of specific cues in driving cancer progression and metastasis. Model results are validated back to patient data with the ultimate goal of improving health outcomes.

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