Research in the Shaw lab focuses on the interaction between three cell types in the tumor microenvironment (carcinoma cells, fibroblasts and myeloid cells) in mediating tumor metastasis. Our research has shown that secreted factors from myeloid cells encourage the invasion of fibroblasts (leader fibroblasts); and this directly increases carcinoma cell invasion. Although we have identified some proteins that mediate this activity, our current work is examining the roles of RNAs in exosomes. Our work uses live cell microscopy to image cells in 3-dimensional constructs. Our current work uses CellMate3DTM, a chemically-defined tissue-like microenvironment composed of hyaluronic acid and chitosan (BRTI Life Sciences). BRTI Life Sciences is a local biotech company located in Two Harbors, MN and I work closely with BRTI researchers to develop novel therapeutics and cultivate local industry.