Heather Machado, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Tulane School of Medicine, and a program member of the Tulane Cancer Center and the Louisiana Cancer Research Consortium.
Dr. Machado completed her Ph.D. in Molecular and Cellular Biology from Tulane School of Medicine in 2005, under the supervision of Cindy A. Morris, Ph.D. She went on to conduct her postdoctoral studies in the laboratory of Dr. Jeffrey M. Rosen at Baylor College of Medicine, where she focused on understanding the role of normal stem cells in mammary gland development and in human breast cancer. She opened her laboratory in 2013 upon joining the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Tulane School of Medicine. She is an active member of the American Association of Cancer Research and the Tumor Microenvironment Women in Cancer Research working groups.
Dr. Machado’s laboratory focuses on understanding the mechanisms that drive mammary gland development, and how these mechanisms are deregulated in breast cancer. Using unique mouse models of breast cancer progression, Dr. Machado’s group showed that alterations in macrophages in premalignant lesions can induce the transition to malignant or invasive cancer. The overall goal of these studies is to identify drug targetable pathways and mechanisms to block both macrophages and tumor cells as a breast cancer treatment strategy. Current areas of research include:
- Understanding how stromal-epithelial interactions mediate branching morphogenesis, ductal elongation and post-partum involution during mammary gland development.
- Defining how the stromal microenvironment, in particular macrophages, communicate with premalignant cells to promote breast cancer progression.
- Characterizing the role of macrophage-derived C/EBPb and its specific protein isoforms in mammary gland development and tumor progression.
- Defining the function of the Gas6/Axl/MerTK pathway in mammary gland development, cell fate specification and progression of early stage mammary tumors.
Mammary gland biology, Breast cancer progression, Tumor Immunology
Ibrahim A.M., Gray Z., Gomes A.M., Myers L., Behbod F., and Machado H.L. (2020) Gas6 expression is reduced in advanced breast cancers. NPJ Precision Oncology; 4:9. (PMC7181799)
Wang Y., Chaffee T.S., LaRue R.S., Huggins D.N., Witschen P.M., Ibrahim A.M., Nelson A.C., Machado H.L., and Schwertfeger K.L. (2020) Tissue resident macrophages promote extraceullular matrix homeostasis in the mammary gland stroma of nulliparous mice. Elife; 9:e57438. (PMID: 32479261)
Gomes A.M., Carron E.C., Mills K., Dow A.M., Gray Z., Fecca C.R., Lakey M.A., Carmeliet P., Kittrell F., Medina D., and Machado H.L. (2018) Stromal Gas6 promotes the progression of premalignant mammary cells. Oncogene; 38(14):2437-2450 (PMID: 30531835)
Mills, K.L., Gomes A.M., Standlee C.R., Rojo M.D., Carmeliet P., Lin Z., and Machado H.L. (2018) Gas6 is dispensable for pubertal mammary gland development. (2018) PLOS one;13(12):e0208550. (PMC6289431)
Nelson A.C., Machado H.L. and Schwertfeger K.L. (2018) Breaking through to the other side: Microenvironment contributions to DCIS initiation and progression. Journal of Mammary Gland Biology and Neoplasia; 23(4):207-221 (PMID: 30168075)
Behbod F., Gomes A.M., and Machado H.L. (2018) Modeling human ductal carcinoma in situ in the mouse. Journal of Mammary Gland Biology and Neoplasia; 23(4):269-278 (PMID: 30145750)
Carron E.C., Homra S., Rosenberg J., Coffelt S.B., Kittrell F.S., Zhang Y., Creighton C.J., Fuqua S., Medina D., and Machado H.L. (2017) Macrophages promote the progression of premalignant mammary lesions to invasive cancer. Oncotarget; 8(31):50731-50746 (PMC5584199).
Sainz B., Carron E., Vallespinós M., and Machado H.L. (2016) Cancer stem cells and macrophages: implications in tumor biology and therapeutic strategies. Mediators of Inflammation; 2016:9012369. (PMC4769767)
Machado H.L., Kittrell F.S., Edwards D., White A.N., Atkinson R.L., Rosen J.M., Medina D., and Lewis M.T. (2013) Separation by cell size enriches for mammary stem cell repopulation activity. Stem Cell Translational Medicine; 2(3):199-203. (PMC3659766)
Complete List of Published Work in MyBibliography: