Biology Laboratory Specialist
Dr. Aznavoorian-Cheshire's primary research interests are in the mechanisms of tumor cell invasion and metastasis, with an emphasis on extracellular matrix (ECM)-mediated regulation of tumor cell migration and protease production. Dr. Aznavoorian-Cheshire received her Ph.D. in microbiology from Boston University Graduate School of Medical and Dental Sciences, where she examined the interactions of carcinoma cells with basement membrane proteins. She pursued post-doctoral studies at the National Institutes of Health, Laboratory of Pathology, examining the stimulated migration of melanoma cells by host-derived factors and its possible role in promoting invasion of the basement membrane barrier separating epithelium from interstitial tissue. As a Staff Scientist at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Dr. Aznavoorian-Cheshire studied the matrix metalloproteinase-mediated degradation of type I collagen by oral squamous carcinoma cells, and its regulation by the binding of b1 integrins to collagen. Current projects include collaborations with Olin biology faculty on aspects of tumor growth regulation and adhesion mechanisms, as well as development of student laboratory modules.