|Elizabeth Louie: Understanding Cell Migration
Directed cell migration is an integral part of many physiological and pathological settings, such as immune response and the growth of tumors away from their original cancer site.
Cell migration is often observed, and the mechanism of each movement has been studied extensively. But as a senior in Biology, Elizabeth Louie, studied an area of cell migration that is rarely researched: the actual movement surrounding each movement.
While it has been known for some time that certain chemicals (called chemoattractants) can induce cells to move towards them, Louie's research showed that the chemoattractant-induced movement of one type of cell can be influenced if other cell types are present in the culture.
This finding suggests that such induced cell movements occurring within tissues, both normally and in pathological states, such as metastatic cancer spread, may operate under more complex rules than previously thought.
Louie worked in the Cancer Cell Biology group, run by George Edick. Her project, “A Model of Cell Migration Mediated by a Chemoattractant in Single and Co-Culture Microenvironments” placed third in the theoretical category of the 2007 Undergraduate Research Forum and Awards. She will start her Ph.D. at Stony Brook University in the fall.