A community of individual cells can form both healthy tissues and tumours. Signals between these cells control the community’s activity and membership by producing more cells or recruiting new members. Dr. Hartland Jackson, Canada Research Chair in Systems Pathology, is characterizing the organization, proliferation and communication of these cell communities during both the maintenance of healthy tissues and the development of cancer.
Using high-dimension, single-cell imaging methods and computational analyses, Jackson and his research team are identifying coordinated multi-cellular markers of disease in patient samples and investigating their response to treatment in experimental models. Ultimately, their aim is to discover new therapies by identifying and disrupting the formation of malignant cell communities.