Carrie Shemanko, PhD

B Sc University of Alberta/Canada
M Sc University of Alberta/Canada
PhD University of Dundee/UK

Carrie Shemanko

Areas of Research

Mammary Gland Development
The pathways important for normal breast development are thought to be critical in the development and progression of cancer. The hormone prolactin has a significant role in breast gland development and cellular differentiation (specialization). We have identified a number of genes and proteins that characterize undifferentiated and differentiated cell types and are seeking to understand how they function. The undifferentiated cells, the stem and progenitor cells, that are hypothesized to give rise to all the epithelial cells of the gland, are also hypothesized to be the targets for cancer formation (cancer stem cells).
Breast Cancer and Bone Metastasis
When breast cancer spreads, it spreads to the bone in 70% of patients with metastatic breast cancer. It can be a debilitating part of the disease and is associated with pain and increased risk of death. Treatment options are limited. Once breast cancer cells have traveled to the bone, they instruct the bone cells to specialize into bone-breaking-down osteoclast cells. Breakdown of the bone results in the release of growth factors and calcium that induce breast cancer cell reproduction. Understanding how the breast cancer cells instruct the bone cells will identify signals that can be interrupted by therapy. My laboratory has identified a previously undiscovered mechanism that stimulates bone breakdown and we are searching for the therapeutic targets to reduce or stop bone loss. Better treatment will offer reduced disease burden and a better quality of life to patients. My lab is partnered with the Breast Cancer to Bone Metastasis Research Program, a multidisciplinary group of basic researchers, epidemiologists, clinical oncologists and pathologists, providing a rich study environment.

Supervising degrees

Biological Sciences - Doctoral: Accepting Inquiries
Biological Sciences - Masters: Accepting Inquiries
Medical Science - Masters: Accepting Inquiries
Medical Science - Doctoral: Accepting Inquiries

Working with this supervisor

I am looking for motivated students eager to explore the cellular and molecular world. A successful applicant should have skills that may include but are not limited to: cell culture, immunofluorescence microscopy, transfection, western blotting, RNA extraction, PCR, quantitative PCR, ELISA, viability assays, bioinformatics, and developmental biology techniques.

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