My research program focuses on elucidating mechanisms for cancer cells and sensory neuron interactions in mediating pain as well as tumorigenesis. Specifically, our research investigates the contribution of oral cancer cells in regulating sensory nerve terminals at the site of tumor growth leading to cancer-induced pain and studying the mechanisms underlying this communication. Additionally, we are also exploring the involvement of sensory neurons in regulating oral tumor development and progression.
Sub-Field of Study: head and neck cancer, pain
Diseases Associated: head and neck cancer
Specific Field of Study: neural-tumor interactions, oral tumorigenesis, peripheral mechanisms of pain
Techniques Used: Tissue Culture, RT-PCR, Immunohistochemistry, animal breeding, cell proliferation and survival assays, invasion and migration assays, ELISAs, Calcium Imaging, Animal behavior assays, tumor xenograft models, perineural invasion assays, dissections, and survival surgeries, extracellular single fiber electrophysiological recordings. Developed a novel technique to study tumor-nerve interactions comparing nerve activities between ex vivo preparation of mouse normal tongue and lingual nerve and mouse tumor-tongue and lingual nerve.