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Tracy Vargo-Gogola

Tracy Vargo-Gogola

Adjunct Assistant Professor

Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering

Adjunct Assistant Professor
College of Engineering

Email: Tracy.Vargo-Gogola.1@nd.edu

Phone: 574-631-1587

Office: 153 Raclin-Carmichael

Biography

Tracy Vargo-Gogola’s laboratory has developed a mouse model to investigate the role of a major inhibitor of the Rho GTPases in mammary gland development and breast cancer. Altered expression of Rho GTPases has been detected in many types of cancer, including breast cancer. Many of these genes are essential, which means that loss of gene function in genetically engineered (transgenic) mice results in death of the animals during embryonic development. Understanding how Rho signaling regulates these processes in the context of the complex environment of a developing tissue will help determine how to most effectively target these pathways within the tumor microenvironment.

The goal of the research is to use mammary epithelial cells isolated from the mice in combination with unique three dimensional culture methods that mimic mammary morphogenesis and invasion to determine the molecular mechanisms by which Rho signaling affects normal and tumorigenic processes in the mammary gland. These studies will help determine how best to target the Rho signaling pathway to develop therapies for breast cancer.

News

Researchers Use Nanotechnology to Fight Breast Cancer

October 9, 2015

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, an annual campaign to increase awareness of the disease and the importance of early detection. Researchers at the University of Notre Dame are conducting innovative research aimed at improvements in early detection by molecular imaging.

The Transformation of Cancer Imaging: From Shades of Gray to Living Color

September 30, 2015

Promising a transformation in biomedical imaging, a new technology called spectral [color] computed tomography is at work on the University of Notre Dame’s campus, where researchers are giving the phrase “in living color” a new meaning.

New Approach to Mammograms Could Improve Reliability

September 18, 2015

A recent article in the journal ASC Nano describes a process using targeted gold nanoparticles: "Detecting breast cancer in women with dense mammary tissues could become more reliable with a new mammogram procedure that researchers have now tested in pre-clinical studies of mice."