Gat Rauner's Research

My current research project at the Van de Walle lab is focused on exploring the mechanism behind the selective resistance of some species (cows, horses, pigs and others) to mammary cancer. I am studying primary mammary stem/progenitor cells from a variety of mammalian species with different susceptibility for mammary cancer. Variation in the response of these cells to pro-tumorigenic stimuli can indicate potential mechanisms through which some species evade mammary malignant transformation. One such pro-tumorigenic stimuli is stiff extracellular matrix (ECM). By growing mammary cells in 3D ECM of varying stiffness and analyzing species-differential responses, I hope to better understand species resistance to mammary cancer. In addition to this project, I am also involved with related projects in our lab, in which cooperation, support and open communication is encouraged.

figure figure
Primary horse mammary epithelial cells in Acinar structure formed by differentiated primary
3D matrix culture (bar = 100μm) cow mammary epithelial cells on Matrigel® (bar = 100μm)