Pilar Blancafort

PhD, Assistant Professor, UNC-Chapel Hill, Molecular Therapeutics, Breast Cancer

Pilar Blancafort

Assistant Professor
UNC-Chapel Hill
Molecular Therapeutics
Breast Cancer

102A Mary Ellen Jones Building Chapel Hill

Area of interest

The development of invasive and metastatic behavior during cancer progression is a dynamic process thought to require the concerted action of multiple genes and cellular functions, including cytoskeleton remodeling, acquisition of migratory phenotypes, ability to invade the tumor-surrounding tissues, and survival of disseminated tumor cells. The genetic cascades and transcriptional programs cooperatively required for the malignant progression of tumors are largely unknown. We have developed a novel strategy for the identification and regulation of genes that cooperate during tumor progression. This methodology is based on the screening of large libraries of ATFs made of sequence-specific zinc finger (ZF) domains. In one of our projects, our objective is to apply ATF methodology to identify and regulate genes promoting carcinoma cell invasion and metastasis. Our primary goal is to identify molecular markers of cancer cell invasion that could be used as markers or early detectors of disease progression. We hypothesize that 1) some selected ATFs will be able to regulate complex phenotypes, such as cancer cell invasion and metastatic potential and 2) the selected ATFs can be used to identify markers of cancer disease progression.

Link to Publications on Reach NC site