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Rachelle Johnson, Ph.D.

  • Assistant Professor of Medicine

Phone

(615) 875-8965

Email

rachelle.johnson@vumc.org
1255B Medical Research Building IV
2215b Garland Ave
Nashville, TN 37232

Rachelle Johnson, Ph.D.

  • Assistant Professor of Medicine

(615) 875-8965

rachelle.johnson@vumc.org

1255B Medical Research Building IV
2215b Garland Ave
Nashville, TN 37232

Profile

Education

  • Ph.D., Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee (2011)
  • B.S., University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia (2007)

Research Emphasis

Bone metastasis, breast cancer, hypoxia, leukemia inhibitory factor

Research Description

The Johnson laboratory focuses on breast cancer metastasis to bone and breast cancer dormancy in bone, with an emphasis on the signaling pathways that mediate these processes. Improvement in the clinical care of patients with primary breast cancer has dramatically increased patient survival rates over the past decade, yet many patients still develop distant metastases that are strongly associated with increased morbidity and mortality. Recurrence arises from disseminated tumor cells that have overcome their dormant state and proliferate at the site of metastasis. We wish to gain a better understanding of how these dormant cells, which reside in the bone marrow, exit dormancy.

Our particular interest lies in the role of hypoxia (low oxygen tensions) and leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF) signaling in breast cancer colonization of the bone marrow, bone metastasis, and tumor cell entry/exit from dormancy. We use a combination of molecular and cell biology assays and xenograft and transgenic mouse models to study the mechanism by which breast cancer cells enter and exit a dormant state, and the impact of the bone microenvironment on this process.

Please visit the Johnson laboratory website for more information: https://www.vumc.org/vcbb/person/rachelle-w-johnson-phd

Publications

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