Ana Rita studies the mechanisms and molecular players involved in the triple-negative breast cancer cells extravasation across blood-brain barrier. A better understanding of this process is essential to define potential targets for modulation, to prevent the development of brain metastases from breast cancer. As a visiting student researcher at Dr. Peter Searson laboratory in the Institute for NanoBioTechnology, Johns Hopkins University, Ana Rita will fabricate a 3D blood-brain barrier microvasculature model that recapitulates the in vivo features of human blood-brain barrier and posteriorly study the metastatic progress of breast cancer cells. This study will launch the basis for a development of new and more robust blood-brain barrier models, as well as models that can be applied to other cancer types and CNS-associated pathologies. Moreover, in the future, this work will promote the development of a novel therapeutic strategy to prevent brain metastases formation from breast cancer.

Universidade de Lisboa – Johns Hopkins University

Grant duration: 4 months