Professor Orth studies cancer therapies at the molecular and cellular level. During anti-cancer drug response there is often a disconnect in understanding molecular responses in cells and their fates. This is due to profound heterogeneity within the cancer cell population and tremendous variability in drug response that is difficult to study directly. These characteristics of cancer cells limits our ability to most effectively treat them, and could help explain drug resistance and treatment failure. Quantitative microscopy can add significantly to our understanding of therapeutic action. We relentlessly pursue how to apply advanced microscopy to the problem of cancer and develop single cell assays that allow us to study anti-cancer drug mechanism as it occurs. Through a direct and longitudinal approach, we develop a mechanistic model where we account for the response and fate of every single cell within a population. This powerful approach can be extended to in vivo tumor models.
cancer pharmacology, anti-cancer drug action, fractional response to therapy, adaptive drug resistance, anti-mitotic drugs, tumor biology, single-cell drug response, fluorescent microscopy, live-cell microscopy, xenograft tumors, cell culture, cell engineering, small molecule screening, DNA damage, apoptosis, cell stress