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.
Johanna Joyce, PhD
Research FocusCancer biologist Johanna Joyce investigates the signaling pathways between cancer cells and their microenvironment in tumor progression, metastasis, and response to therapy.
EducationPhD, University of Cambridge
- Sevenich L, Bowman R, Mason SD, Quail DF, Rapaport F, Elie BT, Brogi E, Brastianos P, Hahn WC, Holsinger L, Massague J, Leslie CS and Joyce JA (2014). Analysis of tumour and stroma-supplied proteolytic networks reveals a brain metastasis-promoting role for cathepsin S. Nat Cell Bio. doi: 10.1038/ncb3011.
- Akkari L, Gocheva V, Kester JC, Hunter KE, Quick ML, Sevenich L, Wang HW, Peters C, Tang LH, Klimstra D, Reinheckel T and Joyce JA (2014). Distinct functions of macrophage- and cancer cell-derived cathepsin Z combine to promote tumor malignancy via interactions with the extracellular matrix. Genes Dev. 28: 2134-2150.
- 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)