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College of Arts & Sciences
Department of Biological Sciences

Graduate Student Directory

Nikeya Tisdale

Degree Program: Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology
Room: PSC 620
Major Professor: Dr. Marj Pena

My current research is examining the the tumor micro-environment. There is a intricate relationship between cancerous and non-cancerous cells that oddly is a resemblance of a symphonic orchestration, for which there are many musicians to elicit a complex, yet organized performance during tumor processes and resistance to our current prominent chemotherapy. One example of a non-cancerous cell that has the potential to promote tumor genesis are mast cells. Mast cells are precursors of BMDCs in which maturation occurs within the target tissue. These cells are essential in allergic and inflammatory stimuli. When activated these cells can release an array of varies cytokines such as histamine, chymase, tryptase, TNF-α, IL-4, IL-5, IL-6, and IL-13, by two distinguish processes, degranulation and de novo synthesis. Hence, inhibition of mast cells in combination with systemic chemotherapy treatment may reduce tumor formation and progression.