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The Art in Science

Product Image Fire in the Belly

Fire in the Belly

Li-Jyun Syu, Ph.D., Research Lab Specialist (Dlugosz Laboratory), Department of Dermatology, University of Michigan Medical School

Stomach cancer can be deadly because it is often diagnosed after the cancer has already spread to other organs. It is also very difficult to treat, making it an important topic for research. The use of animal models, such as genetically-engineered mice in which a known cancer-promoting protein is artificially expressed in the stomach, can help investigators explore how these tumor-promoting proteins change cell behavior to cause tumor development. In this image, cell nuclei are blue and the circular collections of blue nuclei in the upper part of the image are groups of tumor cells. The knowledge that we gain from the study of these types of animal models can help uncover the molecular processes that regulate tumor growth and could eventually lead to the identification of new and more effective therapeutics to treat this deadly cancer.