In Situ Dynamics of Distant Metastases

2023 Emerging Leader Award

Mikhail Shapiro, PhD, California Institute of Technology

Mikhail Shapiro, PhD

What determines how cancer metastases grow, stagnate or disappear in distant tissues? These fundamental questions – involving dynamic, spatially distributed in vivo processes – are nearly impossible to address via established methods such as conventional microscopy or omics approaches. Dr. Shapiro will study these critical questions by chronicling the fate of metastases using biomolecular ultrasound, building off the recently developed acoustic reporter genes system to visualize the seeding, growth or disappearance of metastases of breast cancer to the liver. The resulting insights could facilitate the development of much-needed novel treatments for late-stage breast cancer, and new diagnostic approaches to predict and monitor treatment response.

Dr. Shapiro received his BSc in Neuroscience from Brown and his PhD in Biological Engineering from MIT. He conducted post-doctoral research at the University of Chicago and the University of California, Berkeley. He is a Professor of Chemical Engineering and Director of the Center for Molecular and Cellular Medicine at Caltech. The Shapiro laboratory develops biomolecular technologies allowing cells to be imaged and controlled inside the body using sound waves and magnetic fields. These technologies enable the study of biological function in vivo and the development of cell-based diagnostic and therapeutic agents.