Understanding How Changes in Cell Populations Influence Wound Repair and Tumor Progression
Research Assistant Professor
Departments of Biomedical Engineering and Cancer Biology
2220 Pierce Ave, 738 Preston Building
Nashville, TN 37232
Dr. McCawley is a Research Associate Professor in the Departments of Biomedical Engineering and Cancer Biology at Vanderbilt University, Nashville TN and a faculty fellow of the Vanderbilt Institute for Integrative Biosystems Research and Education (VIIBRE). Dr. McCawley received her Ph.D. in 1998 with an emphasis in Pharmacology/Toxicology from Northwestern University, Chicago IL. Her background is in the area of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) and how they regulate cellular processes that contribute to tissue remodeling processes. Current research is directed towards understanding how changes in cell populations and other factors of the tissue microenvironment (ie., oxygenation state, pH and matrix composition) influence wound repair and tumor progression. With her engineering collaborations in VIIBRE, she is developing and applying BioMEMS to interrogate the biophysical and biochemical processes governing cellular migration, transendothelial migration and tissue invasion. She is developing bioreactors to reconstitute tissue using cellular populations (i.e., immune cells, endothelial cells, fibroblasts, normal and/or tumorigenic epithelial/epidermal cells) and/or maintain tissue biopsies under normal (physiological) and/or diseased (pathological) conditions. She is continuing the development of Organ-on-a-Chip style microfluidic bioreactors targeting three-dimensional cell cultures in the areas of mammary development and response to environmental toxins; breast tumorigenesis and response to therapy in complex microenvironments; and the blood brain barrier.