Frontiers of health: Catching rule-breakers

By Hilary Parker
July 01, 2007

New faculty member seeks to lay down laws of cellular cessation

Celeste NelsonCeleste Nelson is out to determine the rules that govern normal development so she can stop the cancer cells that don’t play by them.

Currently studying mammary gland development and breast cancer at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Nelson is funded by a Burroughs Wellcome Fund Career Award at the Scientific Interface. She will join the University faculty in the fall as an assistant professor of chemical engineering.

“One interesting thing about normal development is that the cells in our bodies know when to stop—stop growing, stop piding, stop migrating,” Nelson said. “We don’t really understand how cells stop. If we can learn these rules, then we’ll be closer to understanding how cancer cells circumvent them and closer to possible therapeutic approaches.”

mouse mammary epithelial cells