Meet the Team

AguirreJulio. A. Aguirre-Ghiso, PhD
Principal Investigator





Veronica Calvo-Vidal, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow
Studies the role of the endoplasmic reticulum kinase PERK in mediating tumorigenesis in ErbB2-driven breast cancer models, as well as its involvement in mechanisms of survival in multiple myeloma that may contribute to relapses or drug resistance in patients. Also, she studies biologicals that might be used to induce prolonged dormancy in minimal residual disease in order to prevent metastasis outgrowth.

Julie Cheung
Research Coordinator
As the principal Laboratory Coordinator, she contributes to ongoing efforts in the HNSCC projects by other members in the lab. She also directs the functioning and development of our chicken embryo facility and mouse facility, optimizing methods for xenograft and tumor cell metastasis studies in the embryos and mice.

Georg Fluegen, MD
Postdoctoral Fellow
Using in-vivo and in-vitro HNSCC and breast cancer models and applying novel induction NANo Intravital Devices (NANIVID), he studies the impact of primary tumor stress microenvironments on the tendency of disseminated tumor cells (DTCs) to enter a dormant state upon arrival in secondary sites.

Kathryn Harper
Graduate Student
Studies the interplay between Wnt and p38 signaling during early dissemination and dormancy of early disseminated tumor cells.

Nina Linde, PhD
Post-Doctoral Fellow
Studies how macrophages contribute to early dissemination during pre-malignant stages of breast cancer. She also investigates how tissue macrophages influence the decision between dormant and proliferative behavior of disseminated tumor cells in the secondary site.

Christopher Pool, BS
MD Candidate
While control of local disease is currently excellent, effectively treating distant metastasis remains a real challenge. He is currently investigating tumor dormancy as it relates to head and neck cancer. Building off of previous studies conducted by Dr. Sosa, he is studying the downstream effects of NR2F1, a critical protein in tumor dormancy, by both up- and down-regulating its activity and observing changes on the molecular level in order to identify new potential therapeutic targets.

Maria Soledad Sosa, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow
Studies the role of p38 and NR2F1 signaling in controlling the expression and function of transcription factors in the retinoic acid signaling pathway important for induction of tumor dormancy in HNSCC, breast and prostate tumors. She has also developed a project studying how p38 and NR2F1 signaling influences early dissemination in breast cancer.

Miguel Vizarreta, BS
Studies the link between stress microenvironments and cell dormancy in HNSCC. He also studies if inhibition of the endoplasmic reticulum kinase PERK leads to elimination of dormant disseminated tumor cells (DTCs).