The McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine welcomes new affiliated faculty member Ioannis Zervantonakis, PhD.

Dr. Zervantonakis is an Assistant Professor in the University of Pittsburgh Bioengineering Department, and a member of the UPMC Hillman Cancer Center.  Prior to this, Dr. Zervantonakis was at Harvard Medical School where he was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow and Instructor in Cell Biology.

Dr. Zervantonakis runs the Tumor Microenvironment Engineering Laboratory (TME Lab) where they employ a quantitative approach that integrates microfluidics, systems biology modeling, and in vivo experiments to investigate the role of the tumor microenvironment on breast and ovarian cancer growth, metastasis, and drug resistance. The goal of the TME lab research program is to discover biomarkers that guide new drug development and improve prognosis, develop new strategies to optimize existing treatment protocols, and engineer microfabricated tools that enable screening and personalization of cancer therapies. Projects in the TME Lab include:

  • Microfluidic and microfabricated assays to model the tumor microenvironment and study tumor, fibroblast, and immune cell infiltration
  • Systems biology approaches to cancer drug resistance and metastasis in breast and ovarian cancer
  • Tumor heterogeneity: single cell phenotypic decisions
  • Localized drug release and gradients within the tumor microenvironment