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Natalie Fowlkes

Natalie Fowlkes

Associate Member

Assistant Professor

713-792-2797713-792-2797
nwfowlkes@mdanderson.org
MDA TB 4055D

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Department of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery

In 1889, surgeon and pathologist Stephen Paget first proposed the original “seed and soil” hypothesis of cancer growth and metastasis based on observations from postmortem examinations of patients with metastatic breast cancer. This concept was later championed by veterinarian-scientist, Isaiah J. Fidler, in a series of exquisite seminal in vivo studies using murine models to demonstrate how the tumor microenvironment influenced tumor growth and metastasis. The key to understanding tumor biology, predicting tumor behavior, predicting response to treatment, and identifying novel therapeutic targets, may very well lie in the unraveling of the complexities of interactions between tumor cells, stroma, cells of the immune system, and other cells existing in the tumor microenvironment. Advancing the understanding of these complex relationships which result in immunoediting, immune escape, and the development marked tumor heterogeneity leading to resistance to therapy, is a primary underpinning of our research. Through extensive collaboration and team science approaches, we are engaged in the development and characterization of novel and existing animal models and comparison to human correlates using pathology and molecular biology tools. Animal models are utilized for evaluation of tumor biology, target identification, and therapeutic testing with a primary focus on pathologic response in the microenvironment.

Students in our laboratory would have the opportunity to gain knowledge of the following concepts:

  • Comparative medicine and pathology
  • Histology
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Multiplex immunofluorescent staining
  • Fluorescent microscopy
  • Digital image analysis
  • Laser Capture Microdissection
  • Advanced imaging modalities
  • Murine models, including syngeneic, GEM, xenografts, PDX, humanized

Education & Training

PhD, Louisiana State University, 2018
DVM, Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine, 2010