Skip to main content

Ian Macara, Ph.D.

  • Co-Leader, Signal Transduction and Chemical Biology Research Program
  • Louise B. McGavock Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology
  • Chair of the Department of Cell and Developmental Biology

Phone

615-875-5565

Email

ian.g.macara@Vanderbilt.Edu
Dept. of Cell and Developmental Biology
Vanderbilt University Medical Center
465 21st Avenue S., U 3209 MRB III
Nashville, TN 37232-8240

Ian Macara, Ph.D.

  • Co-Leader, Signal Transduction and Chemical Biology Research Program
  • Louise B. McGavock Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology
  • Chair of the Department of Cell and Developmental Biology

615-875-5565

ian.g.macara@Vanderbilt.Edu

Dept. of Cell and Developmental Biology
Vanderbilt University Medical Center
465 21st Avenue S., U 3209 MRB III
Nashville, TN 37232-8240

Profile

Dr. Macara studies the development of the ducts that form breast tissue, and the mechanisms that can result in the initiation and spread of breast cancer. Most types of cancer arise from epithelial cells. These cells form many of the organs in the body, and arrange themselves into either sheets (such as the skin) or branching ducts (such as kidney, or mammary glands). Epithelial cells are polarized - they have a top and bottom, which differ from one another in form and function. Dr. Macara is studying how polarization occurs, how this process might be disrupted in breast cancer, and how defects in polarization contribute to invasive behavior and metastasis.

Education

  • BSc - University of Sheffield, UK
  • PhD - University of Sheffield, UK
  • Postdoctoral training - Harvard University, MA

Research Emphasis

Cell imaging; breast cancer; stem cells; progenitors; morphogenesis; cell polarity; epithelia; tumor promoters; development; mammary gland; organoids; biophysics.

Research Description

Epithelia form the majority of tissues in your body, and are the source of 90% of human cancers. Epithelial structures form sheets and tubes and are highly polarized. They arise from stem cells or progenitors.
Our lab is deeply interested in how epithelial cells make collective decisions and maintain homeostasis; and how these processes are disrupted in response to damage, and during cancer initiation. We use mouse mammary gland and skin, plus human breast organoids, as model epithelial systems. We develop novel transgenic mouse models, genome-wide CRISPR screens, and quantitative, single-molecule imaging modalities to address fundamental questions about epithelial function.

We have openings for students interested in cell and developmental biology, cancer biology, and biophysics/computational methods.

Publications

Have any questions? Contact Us 1-877-936-8422 for more information