Rachel Mary Lee

Rachel Mary Lee
University of Maryland, Baltimore | UMB · School of Medicine

Doctor of Philosophy, Physics

About

42
Publications
2,359
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
205
Citations
Introduction
I am a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in the lab of Dr. Stuart Martin. I'm currently researching the collective dynamics of cells migrating during breast cancer progression. I am also interested in the development of quantitative tools to help understand a wide variety dynamics biological systems.
Additional affiliations
September 2016 - October 2016
University of Maryland, College Park
Position
  • PostDoc Position
June 2013 - June 2016
University of Maryland, College Park
Position
  • Instructor
Description
  • Week long summer course designed to prepare researchers for image analysis projects. I developed lectures and in class problem sets as well as participating as a lecturer and providing guidance during student coding sessions.
August 2011 - August 2016
University of Maryland, College Park
Position
  • PhD Student
Description
  • PhD research on the dynamics of collective motion in cancer progression with Dr. Wolfgang Losert (UMD Physics) and Dr. Carole A. Parent (NCI, NIH).
Education
August 2010 - August 2016
August 2005 - May 2010
University of Arkansas
Field of study
  • Chemical Engineering
August 2005 - May 2010
University of Arkansas
Field of study
  • Physics

Publications

Publications (42)
Article
Introduction: Migratory phenotypes of metastasizing tumor cells include single and collective cell migration. While migration of tumor cells is generally less cooperative than that of normal epithelial cells, our understanding of precisely how they differ in long time behavior is incomplete. Objectives: We measure in a model system how cancer pr...
Article
Full-text available
Although understanding the collective migration of cells, such as that seen in epithelial sheets, is essential for understanding diseases such as metastatic cancer, this motion is not yet as well characterized as individual cell migration. Here we adapt quantitative metrics used to characterize the flow and deformation of soft matter to contrast di...
Preprint
Directional migration initiated at the wound edge leads epithelial sheets to migrate in wound healing. How such coherent migration is achieved is not well understood. Here we used electric fields to induce robust migration of sheets of human keratinocytes and developed an in silico model to characterize initiation and propagation of epithelial coll...
Article
Full-text available
Collective cell migration is an umbrella term for a rich variety of cell behaviors, whose distinct character is important for biological function, notably for cancer metastasis. One essential feature of collective behavior is the motion of cells relative to their immediate neighbors. We introduce an AI-based pipeline to segment and track cell nucle...
Article
The majority of breast cancer patient deaths occur when tumor cells migrate away from the primary tumors and disseminate metastatically. Cancer cells at the invasive front mimic the behaviors of non-tumorigenic epithelial cells at wound edges but show less coordinated migration comparatively. While most wound healing studies use a timeframe of 24-4...
Article
Full-text available
Post-translational modifications (PTMs) of the microtubule network impart differential functions across normal cell types and their cancerous counterparts. The removal of the C-terminal tyrosine of α-tubulin (deTyr-Tub) as performed by the tubulin carboxypeptidase (TCP) is of particular interest in breast epithelial and breast cancer cells. The rec...
Article
Full-text available
Clinical cancer imaging focuses on tumor growth rather than metastatic phenotypes. The microtubule-depolymerizing drug, Vinorelbine, reduced the metastatic phenotypes of microtentacles, reattachment and tumor cell clustering more than tumor cell viability. Treating mice with Vinorelbine for only 24 h had no significant effect on primary tumor survi...
Article
Full-text available
Background: The development of chemoresistance to paclitaxel and carboplatin represents a major therapeutic challenge in ovarian cancer, a disease frequently characterized by malignant ascites and extrapelvic metastasis. Microtentacles (McTNs) are tubulin-based projections observed in detached breast cancer cells. In this study, we investigated wh...
Preprint
Collective cell migration is an umbrella term for a rich variety of cell behaviors, whose distinct character is essential for biological function, notably for cancer metastasis. One essential feature of collective behavior is the motion of cells relative to their immediate neighbors. We introduce an AI-based pipeline to segment and track cell nucle...
Article
Full-text available
Recent evidence suggests that groups of cells are more likely to form clinically dangerous metastatic tumors, emphasizing the importance of understanding mechanisms underlying collective behavior. The emergent collective behavior of migrating cell sheets in vitro has been shown to be disrupted in tumorigenic cells but the connection between this be...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background: Clinical breast cancer imaging inevitably focuses on tumor growth rather than the metastatic dissemination that is a greater challenge for patient survival. Emerging preclinical evidence indicates that chemotherapy can elevate levels of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) and increase metastatic recurrence. Targeting metastatic phenotypes of...
Article
Full-text available
Changes in the mechanical microenvironment and mechanical signals are observed during tumor progression, malignant transformation, and metastasis. In this context, understanding the molecular details of mechanotransduction signaling may provide unique therapeutic targets. Here, we report that normal breast epithelial cells are mechanically sensitiv...
Conference Paper
Changes in the mechanical microenvironment and mechanical signals are observed during tumor progression, malignant transformation, and metastasis. In this context, understanding the molecular details of mechanotransduction signaling may provide unique therapeutic targets. Here we report that normal breast epithelial cells are mechanically sensitive...
Article
Full-text available
The technical challenges of imaging non-adherent tumor cells pose a critical barrier to understanding tumor cell responses to the non-adherent microenvironments of metastasis, like the bloodstream or lymphatics. In this study, we optimized a microfluidic device (TetherChip) engineered to prevent cell adhesion with an optically-clear, thermal-crossl...
Preprint
Full-text available
Recent evidence suggests that groups of cells are more likely to form clinically dangerous metastatic tumors, emphasizing the importance of understanding mechanisms underlying collective behavior. The emergent collective behavior of migrating cell sheets in vitro has been shown to be disrupted in tumorigenic cells but the connection between this be...
Article
Full-text available
Mechanotransduction is the interpretation of physical cues by cells through mechanosensation mechanisms that elegantly translate mechanical stimuli into biochemical signaling pathways. While mechanical stress and their resulting cellular responses occur in normal physiologic contexts, there are a variety of cancer-associated physical cues present i...
Article
The dynamic rearrangement of the actin cytoskeleton is an essential component of many mechanotransduction and cellular force generation pathways. Here we use periodic surface topographies with feature sizes comparable to those of in vivo collagen fibers to measure and compare actin dynamics for two representative cell types that have markedly diffe...
Preprint
Periodic surface topographies with feature sizes comparable to those of in vivo collagen fibers are used to measure and compare actin dynamics for two representative cell types that have markedly different migratory modes and physiological purposes: slowly migrating epithelial MCF10A cells and polarizing, fast migrating, neutrophil-like HL60 cells....
Article
Processes in collective migration span many length and time scales. In this review, we focus on length scales ranging from tens of microns (single cells) to a few millimeters (cell clusters) and the motion of these cells and cell groups on time scales of minutes to hours. We focus on epithelial cell sheets and metrics of motion developed to measure...
Data
Video S1. A Traditionally Spherical T47D Mammosphere Is Manipulated by a 10-μm Pipette, Related to Figure 3
Data
Video S2. Most T47D Mammospheres Are Non-canonical in Shape and Size, Related to Figure 3 A clonal, flat sheet of T47D cells curled at the edges is manually manipulated with a 10-μm pipette.
Article
Full-text available
The mammosphere assay has become widely employed to quantify stem-like cells in a population. However, the problem is there is no standard protocol employed by the field. Cell seeding densities of 1,000 to 100,000 cells/mL have been reported. These high densities lead to cellular aggregation. To address this, we have individually tracked 1,127 sing...
Article
Full-text available
Aggressive cellular phenotypes such as uncontrolled proliferation and increased migration capacity engender cellular transformation, malignancy and metastasis. While genetic mutations are undisputed drivers of cancer initiation and progression, it is increasingly accepted that external factors are also playing a major role. Two recently studied mod...
Article
Full-text available
Aberrant cell migration leads to the dispersal of malignant cells. The ubiquitous lipid mediator lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) modulates cell migration and is implicated in tumor progression. Yet, the signaling cascades that regulate LPA's effect on cell motility remain unclear. Using time-lapse imaging and quantitative analyses, we studied the role...
Article
Full-text available
When a constraint is removed, confluent cells migrate directionally into the available space. How the migration directionality and speed increase are initiated at the leading edge and propagate into neighboring cells are not well understood. Using a quantitative visualization technique-Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV)-we revealed that migration dir...
Article
Cell migration plays an important role in a wide variety of biological processes and can incorporate both individual cell motion and collective behaviour. The emergent properties of collective migration are receiving increasing attention as collective motion's role in diseases such as metastatic cancer becomes clear. Yet, how individual cell behavi...
Thesis
This dissertation focuses on gaining understanding of cell migration and collective behavior through a combination of experiment, analysis, and modeling techniques. Cell migration is a ubiquitous process that plays an important role during embryonic development and wound healing as well as in diseases like cancer, which is a particular focus of thi...
Article
We report the effect of different ions on the conducting properties of lysenin channels inserted into planar lipid bilayer membranes. Our observations indicated that multivalent ions inhibited the lysenin channels conductance in a concentration dependent manner. The analysis performed on single channels revealed that multivalent ions induced revers...
Article
Lysenin forms unitary large conductance pores in artificial bilayer membranes containing sphingomyelin. A population of lysenin pores inserted into such a bilayer membrane exhibited a dynamic negative conductance region, as predicted by a simple two-state model for voltage-gated channels. The recorded I-V curves demonstrated that lysenin pores inse...

Network

Cited By