Cancers develop in complex tissue environments, which they depend upon for sustained growth, invasion and metastasis. The tumor microenvironment comprises innate and adaptive immune cells, fibroblasts, extracellular matrix, and blood and lymphatic vascular networks, which collectively have critical modulatory functions in tumor development and metastasis (Figure 1). Our lab is interested in the critical influence that non-cancerous stromal cells can have on tumor progression and response to therapy.  We investigate both positive and negative signals provided by the normal tissue stroma to the cancer cells, and how normal cells can be modified by the cancer cells to produce a variety of factors that enhance tumor malignancy. One of the critical regulatory cell types in the microenvironment are tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs), which have a potent ability to promote tumor progression.

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Selected Achievements

Scholar, American Cancer Society (2012)

Louise and Allston Boyer Young Investigator Award in Basic Research, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (2011)

Geoffrey Beene Junior Faculty Chair, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (2007)

Research Scholar, Sidney Kimmel Foundation for Cancer Research (2005)

Scholar, V Foundation for Cancer Research (2005)

Research Scholar, Rita Allen Foundation (2005)

Johanna Joyce, Cancer Biologist

At Work: Cancer Biologist Johanna Joyce

Cancer biologist Johanna Joyce aims to develop targeted cancer therapies that disrupt the ability of tumor cells to hijack normal cells.