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The Bear lab studies actin cytoskeletal dynamics, cell motility and tumor invasion/metastasis. They use a combination of modern molecular perturbations such as gene knockouts, over-expression and RNAi depletion to manipulate proteins involved in migration. In addition, they are studying how tumor cells mis-regulate their cell motility during invasion and metastasis. One of the main techniques utilized by the lab is live-cell microscopy. They use this technique across a range of length and time-scales to track proteins and protein complexes inside of cells, track the migration of cells and understand the consequences of migration for tissue architecture. They are also exploiting new micro-fabrication and microfluidic approaches to study the migration cells in response to gradients of various cues such as soluble growth factors (chemotaxis), substrate attached ECM proteins (haptotaxis) and gradients of mechanical stiffness (durotaxis).