- Human Nutrition, Foods and Exercise
- College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
Dr. Schmelz research is focused on the molecular mechanisms of ovarian cancer prevention. Her lab uses cell and animal models to study interactions of obesity, inflammation, and cancer that support ovarian cancer metastasis.
Unlike other cancers, ovarian cancer mostly metastasizes throughout the peritonal cavity. We are investigating the molecular, cellular, and physical events that are involved in ovarian cancer cell survival in the hostile conditions of the peritoneal cavity such as lack of nutrients and oxygen, and physical stresses. We are also interested in how bioactive sphingolipids are actively supporting ovvarian cancer metastasis by promoting survival, migration, and invasion. Our studies utilize a model of progressive ovarian cancer representing early, intermediate, and late stages of the disease to identify molecular targets that are critical for metastasis and as such are druggable targets for cancer prevention strategies.