Jennifer Munson, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Research Areas

  • Fluid Mechanics
  • Neuroengineering
  • Tissue Engineering
  • Translational Cancer Research

Research Interests

We study the tumor microenvironment in brain and breast cancers.

To do this, we combine in vivo imaging methodology with in vitro tissue engineered models to examine the role of interstitial fluid flow and the cellular components of the microenvironment in cancer progression and treatment. We use patient-derived cells to create personalized models of disease and use these systems to test hypotheses related to fluid and tissue transport in tumors and the brain and to identify new drug targets and treatment approaches. In vitro, we combine tissue engineered cell culture systems with microfluidic devices to analyze cellular behavior in the tumor and surrounding tissue using flow cytometry and microscopy. In vivo, we employ a host of imaging methods and disease models to parameterize our systems and validate our measurements.

Our goal is to find new targets in the tumor microenvironment and to examine cancer and disease in the proper context to properly study outcomes such as tumor invasion, response to chemotherapy, and immunity.

Education

  • Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne: Postdoctoral Fellow, 2011-2013
  • Georgia Tech: Ph.D., Bioengineering, 2011 
  • Tulane University: B.S., Chemical Engineering and Neuroscience, 2006 

Awards, Honors, and Service

  • 2017: Young Innovator Award, Journal of Cellular and Molecular Bioengineering 
  • 2016: Rita Schaffer Young Investigator Award, Biomedical Engineering Society 
  • 2011: Whitaker International Scholar, Whitaker Foundation 
  • 2009: Fulbright Scholar, U.S. Department of State 
  • 2007: National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, National Science Foundation

Recent Publications

X Yuan, AR Harris, JM Munson “Assessing multiparametric drug response in tissue engineered tumor microenvironment models” Methods, (2017).

Yuan, JX, JM Munson, Quantitative immunohistochemistry of the cellular microenvironment in patient glioblastoma resections, Journal of Visualized Experiments (2017).

Logsdon, DK, JM Munson, Chemoprotection across the tumor border: cancer cell response to doxorubicin depends on stromal fibroblast ratios and interstitial therapeutic transport, Journal of Cellular Molecular Bioengineering  pp1-19 (2017).

KM Kingsmore, DL Logsdon, BW Purow, JM Munson, Interstitial flow differentially increases patient-derived glioma stem cell invasion via CXCR4/CXCL12/CD44-mediated mechanisms, Integrative Biology. 8(12):1246-60 (2016) .

JX Yuan, FF Bafakih, JW Mandell, BJ Horton, JM Munson, Quantitative Analysis of the Cellular Microenvironment of Glioblastoma to Develop Predictive Statistical Models of Overall Survival, Journal of Neuropathology and Experimental Neurology. nlw090 (2016).

BA Corliss, MS Azimi, JM Munson, SM Peirce, WL Murfee, Macrophages: An Inflammatory Link between Angiogenesis and Lymphangiogenesis, Microcirculation. 23(2): 95-121 (2016).

JM Munson, AC Shieh, Interstitial fluid flow in cancer: implications for disease progression and treatment, J Cancer Management and Research, 6, 317-328 (2014).

M Munson, RV Bellamkonda & MA Swartz, Interstitial flow increases glioma invasion via CXCR4-dependent autologous chemotaxis in a 3D microenvironment. Cancer Research 73(5): 1536-1546 (2013)

Munson Jennifer