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Dr Lucy MacCarthy-Morrogh

Investigating innate immune cells when they interact with very early stage tumours

Using a zebrafish melanoma model my project aims to correlate live confocal imaging with transmission electron microscopy in order to investigate fine cellular detail regarding what is going on when pre-neoplastic tumour cells and innate immune cells interact, see Live imaging of innate immune cell sensing of transformed cells inzebrafish larvae: parallels between tumor initiation and wound inflammation.Feng Y, Santoriello C, Mione M, Hurlstone A, Martin P.PLoS Biol. 2010 Dec 14;8(12).

I work closely on this project with Debbie Carter, who is a specialized EM technician. The EM images have revealed extremely interesting details that are not visible by light/flourescent microscopy, and they have given rise to novel questions regarding both how innate immune cells interact with cancer cells, and also how the immune cells initially gain access to cancer cells which are compartmentalised by basement membrane.