Dr. Dawson joined the Brown faculty as MPPB Assistant Professor in July 2016. Before coming to Brown, Dr. Dawson was an Assistant Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology. Dr. Dawson has an undergraduate degree in Biomedical Engineering from Louisiana Tech University, graduate degree in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering from Johns Hopkins University, and postdoctoral training in Tumor Biology from Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School.
Dr. Dawson's research combines expertise in cell biophysics and cancer biology for quantitative analysis of the molecular and mechanical profiles of cells in tumor and tissue microenvironments. Research goals include: (1) developing novel therapies for metastatic cancer, (2) improving stem cell homing to tissues, and (3) using mechanics to guide in the development of tissue substitutes.
|Ali MRK, Wu Y, Ghosh D, Do BH, Chen K, Dawson MR, Fang N, Sulchek TA, El-Sayed MA Nuclear Membrane-Targeted Gold Nanoparticles Inhibit Cancer Cell Migration and Invasion.. ACS Nano. 2017; 11 (4) : 3716-3726.|
|Ghosh, Deepraj, McGrail, Daniel J., Dawson, Michelle R. TGF-β1 Pretreatment Improves the Function of Mesenchymal Stem Cells in the Wound Bed.. Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology/Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology. 2017; 5 : 28.|
McGrail D, Kieu Q, Iandoli J, Dawson M
Actomyosin Tension as a Determinant of Metastatic Cancer Mechanical Tropism.
Physical Biology. 2015; 12 (2) : 026001.
McGrail D, Qi M, Khambhati N, Patel, K, Dawson M
Alterations in Ovarian Cancer Cell Adhesion Drive Taxol Resistance by Increasing Microtubule Dynamics in a FAK-dependent Manner.
Scientific Reports. 2015; 5 : 9529.
McAndrews K, Yi J, McGrail D, Dawson M
Enhanced Adhesion of Stromal Cells to Invasive Cancer Cells Regulated by Cadherin 11.
ACS Chemical Biology. 2015; 10 (8) : 1932-38.
McAndrews K, Yi J, McGrail D, Ravikumar N, Dawson M.
Mesenchymal Stem Cells Induce Directional Migration of Invasive Breast Cancer Cells through TGF-β.
Scientific Reports. 2015; 5 : 16941 .
Dawson M, Ghosh, D
2015; : 155-173.
|McGrail D, McAndrews K, Brandenburg C, Ravikumar N, Kieu Q, Dawson M Osmotic regulation is required for cancer cell survival under solid stress. Biophysical Journal. 2015; 109 (7) : 1334-37.|
McGrail D, Kieu M, Mezencev R, McDonald J, Dawson M
SNAIL-induced epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition produces concerted biophysical changes from altered cytoskeletal gene expression.
FASEB J. 2015; 29 (4) : 1280-89 .
|McAndrews K, Kim F, Lam T, McGrail D, Dawson M Architectural and Mechanical Cues Direct Mesenchymal Stem Cell Interactions with Cross-Linked Gelatin Scaffolds. Tissue engineering. Part A. 2014; 20 (23-24) : 3252-60.|
Dawson M, Tseng Y, Lee J, McAndrews K.
Intracellular Particle Tracking Rheology.
2014; : 381-387.
Datla S, McGrail D, Lyle A, Pounkova L, Hilenski1 L, Dawson M, Lassègue B, and Griendling K
Poldip2 Controls Vascular Smooth Muscle Cell Migration by Regulating Focal Adhesion Turnover and Polarization.
Applied Journal of Physiology. 2014; 307 (7) : H945-57 .
McAndrews K, McGrail D, Quach N, Dawson M
Spatially coordinated changes in intracellular rheology and extracellular force exertion during mesenchymal stem cell differentiation.
Physical Biology. 2014; 11 : 056004 .
Ghosh D, Lilli L, McGrail D, Matyunina L, McDonald J, Dawson M.
TGFb1 Induced Stiffening of Mesenchymal Stem Cells Depends on PDGF-BB Signaling.
Stem cells and development. 2014; 23 (3) : 245-61.
|McGrail D, Kieu Q, Dawson M. The Malignancy of Metastatic Ovarian Cancer Cells is Increased on Soft Matrices Through a Mechanosensitive Rho-ROCK Pathway. Journal of cell science. 2014; 127 : 2621-2626.|
|McGrail D, McAndrews K, Dawson M. Biomechanical Analysis Predicts Decreased Human Mesenchymal Stem Cell Function before Molecular Differences. Experimental Cell Research. 2013; 319 : 684-696.|
|McGrail D, Ghosh D, Quach N, Dawson M Differential Mechanical Response of Mesenchymal Stem Cells and Fibroblasts to Tumor-Secreted Soluble Factors. PLoS ONE. 2012; 7 (3) : e33248.|
Dawson M, Chae S, Jain RK, Duda D.
Cell Lineage-dependent Effects of Bone Marrow Stromal Cells on Tumor Progression.
American journal of cancer research. 2011; 1 (2) : 144-154.
Kozin, SV, Kamoun, WS, Huang, Y, Dawson, M, Jain, RK, Duda, DG.
Rapid macrophage infiltration after local irradiation facilitates tumor re-growth whereas TEMs and not EPCs recruitment facilitates relapse of irradiated tumors.
Cancer Research. 2010; 70 (14) : 5679-85.
|Tang B, Dawson M, Lai S, Wang YY, Suk, JS, Yang M, Zeitlin P, Boyle M, Fu J, Hanes J. Biodegradable polymer nanoparticles that rapidly penetrate the human mucus barrier. PNAS. 2009; 106 (46) : 19268-73 .|
|Perentes JY, McKee TD, Ley CD, Mathiew H, Dawson M, Padera TP, Munn LL, Jain RK, Boucher Y. In vivo imaging of extracellular matrix remodeling by tumor-associated fibroblasts. Nature methods. 2009; 6 (2) : 143-45.|
|Dawson M, Duda D, Chae S, Fukumura D, Jain RK VEGFR1 activity modulates myeloid cell infiltration in growing lung metastases but is not required for spontaneous metastasis formation. PLoS ONE. 2009; 4 (9) : e6525.|
Dawson M, Duda D, Fukumura D, Jain RK
VEGFR1-activity independent metastasis formation.
Nature. 2009; 461 : E4.
Suh J, Dawson M, Hanes J
Real-time particle tracking: Applications to drug and gene delivery.
Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews. 2005; 57 : 63-78.
|Dawson M, Krauland E, Wirtz D, Hanes J Transport of polymeric nanoparticle gene carriers in gastric mucus. Biotechnology progress. 2004; 20 (3) : 851-857.|
|Dawson M, Wirtz D, and Hanes J Enhanced viscoelasticity of human cystic fibrotic sputum correlates with increasing microheterogeneity in particle transport. Journal of Biological Chemistry. 2003; 278 : 50393-50401.|
Dr. Dawson's research is focused on manipulating cell mechanics to control cell function. Quantitative microscopy techniques based on transport phenomena are used to characterize the mechanomic signatures of cells, which are important for cell migration, differentiation, and development in normal tissues and tumors. Genomic analysis and small molecule screening are then used to elucidate the molecular pathways controlling these mechanical profiles and to identify tissue biomarkers and targets for therapeutic development.
Information gained through these fundamental studies can be used to: (1) improve the homing of stem cells to tissues, (2) classify cells based on their mechanical properties, (3) increase our understanding of force-dependent cancer progression, and (4) optimize the physical properties of engineered tissues.
Dr. Dawson's research uses quantitative microscopy techniques based on transport phenomena to characterize the mechanomic signatures of cells, which are important for cell migration, differentiation, and development in normal tissues and tumors. In recent years, her work has focused on using intracellular particle tracking microrheology (IPTM), a powerful biophysical tool for measuring the mechanical properties of cells in physiologically relevant conditions. This method allows for the direct measurement of actin cytoskeletal mechanics, which control cell shape and motility responses. This method is often combined with traction force analysis and cell motility tracking to develop a more complete understanding of the biophysical properties that control migration in the tumor microenvironment.
Through her previous work, Dr. Dawson has developed a biophysical screening approach to profile cancer cell interactions with stromal cells, along with cell fate processes important in cancer, including adhesion, motility, growth, and apoptosis. This approach has been used to classify breast and ovarian cancer cells by their mechanical properties and to identify therapeutic targets for metastatic cancer based on the biophysical properties of cancer cells. This approach was also used to identify new strategies for targeting Taxol resistant ovarian cancer cells based on differences in their biophysical properties. This approach was also used to show that paracrine factors exchanged between cancer and stromal cells dramatically alter the biophysical properties of both cell types.
Dr. Dawson's work also showed that mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) aged through extended culture undergo changes in cytoskeletal mechanics, including thickening of actin stress fibers and reduced adhesion; these changes were correlated with reduced cell migration and collagen contraction. Her current studies are looking at the role of stromal cell aging in cancer progression.
1. Molecular and Mechanical Regulators of the Metastatic Niche and Ovarian Cancer Metastasis. Lifespan Center for Cancer Research Development COBRE 2017.
2. Using Single Cell Biophysics and Shear Wave Ultrasound Elastography to Measure Cancer Mechanics Across Multiple Length Scales. Office of Vice President for Research Brown University SEED GRANT 2017.
|Postdoctoral Research Fellow||Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts General Hospital||2005-2008||Boston, MA, United States|
|Freiman, Richard||Associate Professor of Medical Science|
|Sedivy, John||Hermon C. Bumpus Professor of Biology, Professor of Medical Science|
Molecular Biology, Cell Biology, and Biochemistry
Center for Biomedical Engineering
As a ChBE professor, I taught undergraduate Heat and Mass Transfer (ChBE 3210) and Fluid Mechanics (ChBE 3200). I also developed and taught Biomolecular Engineering of the Cell (ChBE 4803/8803) – an elective course open to undergraduate and graduate students. I will be teaching Applied Cell and Molecular Biology (BIOL 0810) in Spring 2018.
This course integrates biophysical and biomechanical analysis with cellular and molecular biology to provide quantitative approaches for engineering cells and tissues as therapeutics.