University of Vermont Cancer Center Member Profile

    Alan Howe, PhD

    Associate Director of Cancer Research, Training and Education Coordination, UVM Cancer Center
    Professor, Pharmacology
    Professor, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics

    Full Member
    Cancer Host and Environment (CHE)
    Academic Interests
    Just as a person’s behavior can be influenced by their surroundings, so too can the functions of individual cells be influenced by the cell’s microenvironment. When cells attach to & ‘sample’ this environment – called the extracellular matrix – they form specialized adhesive structures that not only help the cells attach but also report and control the status of that attachment. Invariably, cancer cells misinterpret their environment, which helps them spread throughout the body during metastasis. Dr. Howe's laboratory focuses on studying various ‘reporting’ or signaling proteins to determine how they are regulated by cell adhesion and how their signals control cell movement – all with the hope that by learning more about this particular reporter, we will learn more about how normal cells and their cancerous counterparts are influenced by their surroundings.