Simpson - Extracellular vesicles, exosomes, and cancer biology

Lab leader

Richard SimpsonProfessor Richard Simpson

Professor, College of Science, Health and Engineering

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Cell-cell communication is an integral physiological process that relies on the sending and receiving of signals. Communication may involve direct contact between adjoining cells, or require the release of secreted molecules to facilitate the interaction. Recently, extracellular vesicles (EVs) secreted from cells have been recognized to be involved in cell-cell communication.

EVs comprise shed microvesicles (sMVs), apoptotic bodies and exosomes which differ based on their mechanism of biogenesis and size; of these, exosomes have been most widely studied. Exosomes are released from a multitude of cell types that perform different functions within the cellular microenvironment. These functions include intrinsic and extrinsic signaling, immunological modulation, and horizontal transfer of proteins, lipids and genetic material (miRNA/mRNA) to recipient cells.

The focus of our research is to utilize an integrated proteomic/genomic strategy directed towards understanding the role of the extracellular environment (specifically membrane vesicles; exosomes) in cancer progression.

Research areas