Hansel Laboratory

Dr. Donna Hansel

A major focus of my laboratory is investigation of mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling in bladder cancer progression. We have recently focused on the effects of mTORC2 in migration and invasion, including upstream and downstream effectors. Another major focus of my laboratory is the use of translational approaches, such as human bladder cancer ex vivo models and human cancer specimens, to identify novel mTOR-related processes in this disease. In addition to my laboratory work, I am also Chair of Pathology at Oregon Health & Science University.

Donna Hansel, M.D., Ph.D.

About the Lab

Our research lab is located in Richard Jones Hall at the Oregon Health & Science University Marquam Hill campus. We use live cell imaging techniques, cell signaling assays, mouse xenograft models, and ex vivo human models to identify mTOR-driven pro-motility functions in bladder cancer.

Our lab is interested in identifying high-yield, targetable pathways in advanced bladder cancer, with a strong emphasis on mTOR signaling and novel downstream targets that are involved in cell motility and invasion. Our emphasis is on advanced bladder cancer, which currently has limited therapeutic options when conventional therapy fails.

We utilize both in vitro and xenograft model systems to test migration and invasion in bladder cancer. A unique aspect of our laboratory is the use of human bladder cancer specimens – both as primary cultures and ex vivo bladder wall cultures – to understand invasion in a “translationally relevant” context.

We have expanded on our mTOR signaling work to identify novel downstream targets of mTORC1 and mTORC2 complexes that influence migration and invasion of bladder cancer cells. We have also evaluated the novel microenvironment of bladder cancer to identify putative mediators of mTOR complex signaling in this model system.

Meet our lab team

Research Opportunities

The lab welcomes undergraduates, graduate students and postdoctoral fellows who have an interest and/or experience in cancer biology and cancer cell migration.

For more information, please contact Dr. Hansel directly.