Cheng Dong

Dr. Cheng Dong
Distinguished Professor and Department Head
Department of Biomedical Engineering, Pennsylvania State College
“Biomechanics in Cancer and Inflammation”
Friday, October 31st, 2014
9:40 am - 10:40 am
Center of Excellence, Symposium Hall (ITC)
(Light refreshment will be served)

ABSTRACT: Recent studies have illustrated a complex role of hydrodynamic shear flow, secreted inflammatory chemokines by a tumor microenvironment, and interactions of immune cells with circulating tumor cells in the recruitment of metastatic cancer cells to the vascular endothelium (EC). These studies are significant in fostering new approaches to cancer treatment through anti-inflammatory therapeutics. Attachment of tumor cells to the EC under flow conditions is critical for the migration of tumor cells out of the vascular system to establish metastases in tissues. Innate immune system processes can potentially promote tumor progression through inflammation-dependent mechanisms. Human neutrophils (PMNs), which comprise 50-70% of circulating leukocytes, are being studied to better understand how the host immune system affects cancer cell adhesion and subsequent migration and metastasis. We have studied melanoma cells and the dynamic adhesion to the EC under flow conditions, which is distinct from PMN-EC adhesion in the circulation. We found PMN increased melanoma cell adhesion and extravasation, which involves shear-dependent initial PMN tethering on the EC and capturing melanoma cells in a close proximity to the EC. In addition, melanoma-induced inflammatory cytokine IL-8 contributes to PMN tethering and subsequent melanoma arrest on the EC via the PMN-melanoma cell binding. Tumor cell adhesion to the EC induces endothelial junction breakdown that results in circulation-mediated tumor cell metastasis. These studies present a platform for studying the biomechanics in cancer and inflammation.

BRIEF BIO: Dr. Dong is Distinguished Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Head of the Penn State Department of Biomedical Engineering. He received several prestigious honors and awards, including the NSF Faculty Career Award, American Cancer Society Faculty Research Award, ASME Y.C. Fung Young Investigator Award, BMES Harold Lamport Young Investigator Award, ASME Melville Medal, and ASME Best Journal Paper Award. The major focus of Dr. Dong's research is to elucidate biomechanical, biophysical and biochemical aspects of cellular function in the circulatory systems, with particular interest in cellular biomechanics, cell adhesion, cell migration, cell signaling, systems biology, and multi-scale modeling of biological systems. Current research at Penn State includes studies of micro-hemodynamics, leukocyte rheology, intercellular and intracellular signaling, cancer immunology and metastases.

Please contact Trisha Glezen 
if interested in meeting with the speaker before or after the seminar.