Migration of melanoma cells in the neural crest environment

Project Details

This research involves placing melanoma cancer cells into the neural crest environment of chick embryos. The neural crest are a population of cells that migrate extensively throughout the embryo and give rise to many different cell types including bones and cartilage of the face, neurons and glia of the peripheral nervous system and melanocytes, the pigment cells of the skin. When melanocytes become cancerous and form a melanoma they can become invasive and migrate extensively throughout the body. Why melanoma cells invade particular organs is currently unknown, but understanding of this process may ultimately lead to improvements in therapy of melanoma. Previous research has shown that melanoma cells follow the neural crest pathways when placed into chick embryos. This project would involve placing melanoma cells obtained from different metastatic sites into the chick neural crest pathway and determining differences in migration pattern from separate melanoma sub-populations.

The project is a collaboration with Professor Jonathon Cebon at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research.


Dr Sonja McKeown

Research Group

Young laboratory: Development of the enteric nervous system

Faculty Research Themes


School Research Themes

Cancer in Biomedicine, Cellular Imaging & Structural Biology

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact the research group leader.

Department / Centre

Anatomy and Neuroscience

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