The Brown Foundation Institute of Molecular Medicine for the Prevention of Human Diseases

Hyun Lee, PhD.








Research Project

In order to study mechanotransduction in cells and tissues by biomechanical forces, I’m investigating the mechanotransduction in cancer metastasis and hematopoietic stem cells under biomechanical forces. One of the critical biomechanical forces may be shear stress in vivo.

 My work currently focuses on the in vitro application of shear stress to cancer metastasis typically seen in vivo. I have applied shear forces to different cancer cells and found shear stress enhanced cancer metastatic features. Also yes associated protein (YAP) and its downstream targets such as AMOTL2, ANKRD1 and CTGF were involved in this event. Now I’m studying the knockdown effect of YAP on cancer metastasis as well as further investigating the involvement of integrins, actin cytoskeleton and microtubules for identifying mechanotransduction in cancer metastasis by shear stress.

 Another ongoing project is the regulation of hematopoietic stem cells by substrate rigidity, since it’s difficult to control quiescence, proliferation and differentiation of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) in vitro. To generate the culture platform to have biomimetic range of Young’s modulus, different composed gels were generated and adult hematopoietic stem cells are cultured and addressed for hematopoiesis markers. This study and product will provide the effective way of transplanting and maintaining HSCs for therapeutic purpose.