The outside of a cancer cell matters too, with Dr. Mina Bissell

it’s what’s on the inside that matters. It turns out that for cells – including cancer cells – the outside matters a whole lot, too.

Specifically, the interactions between the extracellular matrix and the microenvironment -- the physical context and the connection between the outside of a cell and the inside – is central to how that cell behaves… and, for cancer cells, how they might grow, spread, or most importantly, be stopped.  

It’s hard to overstate the magnitude of this breakthrough for biology, cancer research, and importantly, breast cancer research. This singular discovery rewrote decades of scientific understanding, and redirected vast amounts of future research and success. It occurred because of what’s been called the “controversial insistence” of Dr. Mina Bissell.

Dr. Bissell is a Distinguished Scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory at UC Berkeley. She’s also one of the most honored scientists in the world.

Among her many awards, Dr. Bissell received the Ernest Orlando Lawrence Award and medal, the U.S. Department of Energy’s highest scientific honor, the American Cancer Society’s Medal of Honor, There’s even an award named after her – truly, the Bissell Award. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Institute of Medicine, earned an honorary degree from the Pierre and Marie Curie University in Paris among other universities, and in 2010 was elected to the National Academy of Sciences. She has published more 300 articles and book chapters.

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