Jean Albrengues, Ph.D.
Jean Albrengues, Ph.D.
Ph.D. Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories
Dr. Jean Albrengues’ 2016 Terri Brodeur Breast Cancer Foundation fellowship award focuses on the regulation of breast cancer dormancy by the tumor microenvironment.
Metastatic breast cancer relapse occurring years after seemingly successful treatment is preceded by an interlude, termed dormancy when cancer remains non-proliferative and undetected at a secondary site. Unfortunately, these dormant tumor cells appear to be refractory to available therapies and the cues mediating their reawakening are largely unknown.
Dr. Albrengues hypothesized that dormant cells are awakened by signals from inflammatory immune cells, which also provide cues for the aggressive behavior of cancer cells in the primary tumor. To test this hypothesis, he will use newly developed in vitro and in vivo models of dormancy and reawakening. To visualize the interactions with the surroundings, the survival, and the proliferation of tumor cells in situ, he will use microscopy in the lungs of living mice and determine how these parameters change when the disseminated, dormant tumor cells are induced to reawaken. Using pharmacological and genetic approaches, he will identify and target specific signals between inflammatory and cancer cells during experimental manipulation of dormancy. Together, these approaches will allow him to determine how communications between tumor cells and inflammatory microenvironment contribute to the reawakening and therapy resistance of the dormant cells. This analysis will likely reveal new strategies for treatment of dormant disease.
Dr. Albrengues received his Ph.D. from the University of Nice Sophia-Antipolis in France under the supervision of Dr. Cedric Gaggioli at the Institute for Research on Cancer and Aging, Nice (IRCAN). Using sophisticated three-dimensional assays and in vivo models, he demonstrated, during his doctoral studies, the role of the cytokine LIF and the JAK1/STAT3 signaling pathway during the activation and the epigenetic maintenance of activated pro-invasive fibroblasts. Dr. Albrengues is currently a postdoctoral fellow at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in the team of Dr. Mikala Egeblad.