Prof. Stefanie Jeffrey (John and Marva Warnock Professor, Stanford University School of Medicine)
Her research currently involves extracting, profiling, and growing circulating tumor cells (CTCs) from blood and disseminated tumor cells (DTCs) from bone marrow to shed light on different tumor cell populations involved in the metastatic process and to help guide selection of appropriate therapies in individual cancer patients. To facilitate this, Dr. Jeffrey and colleagues from the Schools of Medicine, Engineering, and Genome Technology Center invented the MagSweeper, an automated immunomagnetic separation device that isolates live rare cells with high purity and minimal impact on gene expression for high dimensional single cell molecular analyses or tumor cell growth in culture. Her group is funded to continue this work through use or development of additional technologies, including both continuous-flow and droplet-based microfluidic devices, for antibody-based or label-free tumor cell capture, characterization, and growth. Tumor types being investigated include those from patients with primary or metastatic breast cancer or patients with colon cancer that has metastasized to the liver. Dr. Jeffrey's group also studies the role of circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) in evaluating efficacy of surgical resection of metastases from colorectal cancer. Her lab collaborates closely with Prof Amy Herr's group at UC Berkeley Bioengineering to determine protein signaling pathway activity in single tumor cells. Because of Prof. Jeffrey’s experiences in liquid biopsy from a medical and cancer biology perspective, she will direct us on understanding the clinical translation of our technologies.