Evan Hebner
Cohort: 2022

My research is aimed at understanding how cells respond to mechanical forces in tissues. It is well known that increased tissue stiffness in tumors contributes to tumorigenesis and metastasis. I am interested in uncovering how protein interactions drive these stiffness and force-dependent responses. The cell-cell adhesion molecule E-cadherin is a vital site for this force transduction via membrane interactions with Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR). I am exploring how E-cadherin-ligand interactions permit or inhibit EGFR activation at cell junctions. This work will allow researchers to better understand how cells respond to mechanical cues in their environment to guide morphogenesis and tumorigenesis.