About us

We are interested in basic mechanisms of stem cell regulations underlying tissue homeostasis, regeneration, and tumor development. Focusing on the crosstalk between stem cells and their niches, we investigate the mechanisms of how tumor-initiating stem cells generate the niche microenvironment and how the niche maintains and promotes malignant properties of cancer stem cells. Ultimately, our goal is to apply discoveries from our research to develop innovative cancer treatment strategies.

About Dr. Oshimori

Naoki Oshimori, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor in the Departments of Cell, Developmental & Cancer Biology, Dermatology, and Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery. Dr. Oshimori’s research program aims to identify cellular crosstalk and molecular pathways regulating stem cells in tissue homeostasis and tumor development. His lab currently focuses on the crosstalk between tumor-initiating stem cells and the niche microenvironment to identify critical determinants and mechanisms for tumor progression. During his postdoctoral training, Dr. Oshimori adopted the skin epidermis as a model system for studying stem cells in tissue homeostasis and malignancy. He generated a lentiviral fluorescent reporter for transforming growth factor b (TGF-b) signaling pathway. By injecting the lentiviral reporter in utero, he devised a mouse model of squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) that allows labeling and lineage tracing tumor cells responding to TGF-b in vivo. Using this approach, Dr. Oshimori demonstrated that paracrine TGF-b signaling induces stem cell-like tumor cells that give rise to invasive, poorly-differentiated, and drug-resistant progenies (Oshimori et al., Cell 2015). Focusing on the tumor microenvironment associated with these stem-like tumor cells, the Oshimori lab recently identified a niche signaling loop required for the maintenance of tumor-initiating stem cells and the progression of SCC (Taniguchi et al., Science 2020).

Funded by:

NCI/NIH, Collins Medical Foundation, Medical Research Foundation in Oregon, Knight Cancer Institute

Job openings:

Oshimori lab is recruiting graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, and research technicians. Learn more.