David Beebe—Distinguished Seminar Series

April 4, 2016 @ 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
GB 303
Galbraith Bldg
Toronto, ON M5S 1A4

Microscale Tools Enable Functional and Mechanistic Insights in Cancer

Beebe, David J.

David J. Beebe, John D. MacArthur Professor & Claude Bernard Professor of Biomedical Engineering
College of Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison (Photo: D. J. Beebe)


The role of cell-cell communication in many aspects of cancer (initiation, progression, resistance) is becoming increasingly apparent.

We have developed a number of simple tools to improve our ability to manipulate and probe the nature of these multi cellular interactions both in isolation and in the context of the tumor microenvironment. These include 2D & 3D compartmentalized culture platforms to explore paracrine signaling and matrix interactions as well as lumen-based organotypic models to understand structure/function relationships.

In addition, we have developed tools to enable multianalyte extraction from small precious samples from patients. We are applying these tools to understand how cell-cell communication influences various aspects of cancer development in the context of the tumor ecosystem.

Examples include the transition from DCIS to IDC in breast cancer, metastasis to bone in prostate cancer, angiogenesis in kidney cancer, hormone response in breast cancer and resistance to therapy in multiple myeloma.


David J. Beebe is the Claude Bernard Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Co-Leader of the Tumor Microenvironment Program in the UW Carbone Cancer Center, and a John D. MacArthur Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

He is the recipient of the IEEE EMBS Early Career Achievement Award, the Lab on a Chip, Royal Society of Chemistry/Corning, Pioneers of Miniaturization Prize, the Romnes Award at UW-Madison and is a Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering.

In addition, Dr. Beebe was a founding Scientific Editor of Integrative Biology.

David’s current research interests center on the understanding and application of micro scale physical phenomena to understand cancer biology (e.g. stromal-epithelial and cell-matrix interactions), improve cancer diagnosis and monitoring and advance global disease diagnostics.

His migration to more biological focused research was facilitated by an 5 year NIH “retraining” award in cancer biology.

He has published more than 200 archived journal articles with more than 15,000 citations (h-index of 50).

He has also co-founded 4 biotechnology companies. He has received over $20 million in funding (as PI) for his research from NIH, NSF, USDA, DARPA, DOD, DHS, ONR, Coulter Foundation, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Whitaker Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, WARF and the University of Wisconsin.