Research in the Macoska laboratory is currently focused on:
1) Defining the mechanisms through which dysfunctional paracrine interactions between diverse cell types – epithelial, fibroblastic, endothelial, leukocytic – develop consequent to the aging process, and how these dysfunctional interactions contribute to the development of benign and malignant disease;
2) Elucidating the intracellular mechanisms through which growth factors, particularly CXC-type chemokines, secreted by aging stromal fibroblasts stimulate cellular proliferation and myofibroblast phenoconversion, and the association of these pathobiologies with organ dysfunction and malignancy, and
3) Translating laboratory-based knowledge to the development of clinically efficacious therapeutics to slow or arrest the initiation or progression of benign and malignant diseases associated with inflammation and fibrosis.
Above: Photomicrograph of prostate myofibroblasts. The orange color demonstrates co-expression of alpha-smooth muscle actin (green) and collagen I (red). Photo: Dr. Mehrnaz Gharaee-Kermani.